BBC Greater London Radio (GLR) is at risk. The BBCs recent publication of a "South East Review"
document states :
"We will refocus our radio service, GLR 94.9, to reflect and complement the new television
service, offering increased interactivity. More consumer programmes, more debates on issues
relevant to Londoners, advice on how to make the most out of London and offering you, the
listener, the opportunity to discuss what's important to you. We'll bring you help and advice
on everything from housing to education and jobs. And, importantly, we will be reflecting and
celebrating the diversity of London's communities throughout our programming. Our station will
continue to embrace and enhance the work of the Community Affairs Unit - the BBC's specialist
team of African-Caribbean journalists, broadcasting throughout the UK.
It will continue to offer the best of local, UK and international news, together with our
unrivalled travel service for London. In order the achieve all of this, we will scale down
the amount of music that the station currently offers."
In other words, the BBC is looking to do the following with GLR :
Increase the amount of speech-based programming
Reduce the amount of music played
Increase the amount of "consumer" programming
Increase the amount of "advice" programming
From the proposals, it appears that the character of BBC GLR will be changed irrevocably,
turning it into a talk channel, with the music content being reduced considerably.
BBC GLR is already well known for its diverse mix of music and speech programming, including
a variety of programs for black, asian and gay audiences. No change is required!
There is already enough 'talk' radio in London. Another talk radio station is not needed.
The information provided in the "South East Review" document is minimal. Asking the BBC enquiries
section for more information by telephone or e-mail has provided no additional details
beyond that provided in the "Background" section above.
The BBC will not hold a public meeting in London about the future of GLR, despite the fact that it
is already holding public meetings at other locations in the South East. See here for details of
these public meetings :
Although the BBC will not hold a meeting, an independent group of campaigners trying to save GLR is holding a
public meeting at :
25 Red Lion Square
on Tuesday 5 October at 7pm. Come to the meeting and let your feelings be known!
It seems that the proposed changes are a fait accompli and that the views of
existing GLR listeners, overwhelmingly rejecting the changes, are being ignored by the BBC.
On Friday 17 September 1999 the Robert Elms show on GLR hosted a discussion on the proposed
changes. This included guest Jane Mote, the BBC's Head of Regional and Local Programmes for London.
None of the callers during the programme supported the proposed changes to GLR. At the
same time demonstrators outside the GLR offices expressed their views against the proposed changes.
Beyond the one paragraph from the South East Review document shown above, the BBC will
not provide any more detailed information about the proposed changes to GLR.
What you can do
In the BBC "South East Review" document, the BBC states :
"The views of our license fee payers are very important to us. This document sets out our
proposals for refocusing the BBC's television and radio services for London and the South
East and we want to hear what you, the license fee payer, think about them."
So, let the BBC know what you think! Write to :
South East Review