No live night-time DJ's on a publicly-funded station costing £57m a year, from next year - that's Radio 2's big savings idea, explained by new boss Lewis Carnie to Radio Today thus: “Radio 2 has had to make extremely tough decisions to reduce programming costs in order to make savings in line with the rest of the BBC. As a relatively small percentage of our audience listens to Radio 2 through the night, changes need to be made to ensure that our programming spend reaches the most listeners."
Imagine if, say, Director of News, James Harding, turned off a few programmes because there weren't that many listeners ?
Lewis Carnie will know that the station has a problem reaching BAME listeners. 12% of the UK's workforce do regular nightshifts - around 3.1m, many of them in the NHS. The TUC believes that there's a much high proportion of BAMEs in night employment than regular hours, though hasn't given figures. It's all about choices - this year Radio 2 provided pop-up stations producing jazz, country and 50s music, without providing audience figures or costs; there were major investments in concerts in Hyde Park, folk awards at the Albert Hall, trips to Austin, Nashville...
For three hours a night every night in 2017, Radio 2 listeners will be soothed by playlists. Jeff Smith, Head of Music says they will be "uniquely curated", so that will be just lovely.
“Radio 2’s audience is increasingly aware of the benefits of streaming music but to date the offering for them has been limited or designed for younger audiences. It’s important that we offer Radio 2 listeners a way into curated, genre and mood orientated playlists but with a distinctive Radio 2 spin. So we are introducing Radio 2 Playlists. These are playlists which are uniquely curated by our leading music presenters and music team and that our audience can enjoy on the radio or on demand as Radio 2 Playlists in the BBC Music app on their mobile devices.”
Play me the one marked 'grumpy'.