How to save BBC 6Music (2) – the process and what happens next

It’s vitally important to work with the grain of the BBC’s own process. Kicking up a fuss online is all well and good – and important to show that there is strength of feeling – but the BBC must not be left the opportunity to say that this strength of feeling was not reflected in its formal consultations.

The first stage in the process appears to be a 12-week consultation, starting today and ending on May 25th. This is not a consultation on the specifics of the closure plans, but on the principles of the strategic review presented by Mark Thompson. Nonetheless, supporters of 6Music and the Asian Network should respond to it:

  • politely – no abuse towards Mark Thompson or the BBC, and no childish threats to withold the licence fee
  • responding to the questions asked, and making the link between the strategic principles and 6Music /the Asian Network – there’s nothing wrong with mentioning them specifically, but this will be most effective if you make clear you understand it is not a formal consultation on shutting them down.

The Trust’s review is due to publish a provisional report on the BBC’s strategy by the summer and a final strategy in the autumn. Only then is the BBC expected to put formal proposals before the Trust to close 6Music and the Asian Network (it may be that the idea can be killed off even before then).

At that point, further lobbying of the Trust, the Government and MPs must take place.

If the Trust still decides to take th decision to close the stations, it may be possible to take it to judicial review (this will either need c. £100,000 of funding to do it effectively, or some 6Music / Asian Network listeners with legal training an a willingness to do the work pro bono).

If that fails, then will be the time for civil disobedience. But we’re a long way from that yet – this argument is clearly winnable without that.



  1. After first discovering 6 music I went out to buy a digital radio specifically so I could listen to it. Their variety of music and amusing, intelligent, interesting presenters make it a truely great station- like none other.
    If 6 music were to go, I would miss it enormously as I think there is no other station doing what it does.

  2. Radio 6 music presents music which many of us are unlikely to hear if the program disappears. It focuses on music and musicians and is informative and informed. I’ve only been listening for the last few months and I’m enjoying listening to new bands and musicians immensely. The station’s presenters make their audience feel included, and I’m enjoying a feeling of interest in music rather than having presenters whose main aim is self presentation and rabbit on meaninglessly. Radio 6 contrast strongly with radio 1 and radio 2, where many shows could easily pass to commercial radio stations as they present mostly mainstream popular music. Radio 6 music provides a choice for the discerning music lover who is not well served by either radio 1 or radio 2. It is reminiscent of the kind of music shows offered by john Peel in the past. It seems sad that a music program which is so enjoyed by many is to be cut. Additionally, I don’t listen to the Asian music channel, but surely providing a good service for such a significant section of our population is also a priority? Whole chunks of radio 1 and 2 (and virtually the whole of BBC 3) could be cut to save money and would hardly be missed at all.

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