Sunday, June 17, 2018


Competitive James Purnell, former ruthless centre-half of Labour park team, Demon Eyes, is re-inventing himself as the Terry Butcher of British radio - bloodied, bandaged but battling on, whether he can see where he's going or not. In a speech excitedly picked up by the business section of The Telegraph ahead of delivery, the Director of BBC Radio & Education is apparently giving up the contest for an even share of traditional radio listening. 

“I don’t care about share. I don’t care about beating Global, Bauer or Wireless in the RAJARs. We care about the future of British audio.” he will say, unless he changes his mind. “We need to change faster than we have in the last few years. We’ll need to change where we allocate our money. We’ll need to change the kind of content we offer."

“We need to match our spending to our audience. That’s been hard in the tramlines of our radio stations. Had we wanted to make an audio drama for young black audiences, where would we have played it? Fortunately the technology is solving that problem. In future, we can play it on our radio app. Our money can follow the audience.”

Mr Purnell's employees in Radio and customers in News will presumably now look forward to new, reduced budgets as Jim sequesters funds for this brave new world. Or will he close a network ?
  • Mr Purnell, after a month off Twitter, is back on more than one front. In a post on his favoured, he offers a mea culpa on diversity. "In my division, BBC Radio & Education, we don’t yet have enough women leaders, or BAME staff and leaders."  At Radio 2, an attempt to improve the gender balance of weekday presentation, to get in long-distance sight of the DGs 2020 target, is still rankling with what's left of the drive-time audience. Good job no-one cares about share. 

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