Friday, July 31, 2020

Dialogue on the way back

The general public may not be blessed with radio audience figures, now frozen by RAJAR, forever March 2020, but the BBC has plenty of internal information. Yesterday, which should have been quarterly results, James Purnell, Director of Radio & Education at the BBC, shared some insights in an interview for the Royal Television Society. 

He says that some peak listening moved during the lockdown - on Radio 1 it was around 1100am. As the weeks progressed, specialist music stations like 1Xtra, The Asian Network and 6Music saw longer listening hours. At the start of the epidemic there were strong figures for Radio 4 and Radio 5Live.

Mr Purnell said that Radio 1 and Radio 2 were now back to pre-lockdown levels (which implies that 4 and 5Live are somewhat down). 

Interviewer Miranda Sawyer challenged him on the quality of The Archers' response to production issues. Mr Purnell said he found the monologue approach "incredibly dramatic and rather moving, but I recognise that not everyone has felt that - we are going start bringing some dialogue back".

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