BBC 6 Music has been saved from the threat of closure by the BBC Trust, but its sister station the Asian Network has been granted only a stay of execution. 6 Music received huge support on Twitter and Facebook -- resulting in many more listeners -- after the digital radio station was marked for death in a BBC strategy review in February.
"The Trust concludes that, as things stand, the case has not been made for the closure of 6 Music," the Trust said in a press release announcing the review's initial conclusions.
The campaign to save 6 Music drummed up huge support online, with a Facebook group attracting nearly 180,000 members. Billboards and London underground advertising were rented by the campaign. It also attracted celebrity support from musicians such as Radiohead and David Bowie, who said, "6music keeps the spirit of broadcasters like John Peel alive and for new artists to lose this station would be a great shame."
Many of the station's presenters expressed their relief and gratitude for the support on Twitter. Breakfast show host Shaun Keaveny wrote, "Trust report is
great initial news received with tentative cheers. A huge thanks to all
of you who expressed your love, we send it back." Lauren Laverne was a little more emotional: "Just want to say thanks again for all your
loveliness. Sort of gone a bit wobbly and overwhelmed here in the
The news wasn't as good for the Asian Network, however. "The Trust would
consider a formal proposal for the closure of the Asian
Network, although this must include a proposition for meeting the needs
of the station's audience in different ways."
The Trust also ratified the review's proposed 25 per cent cuts to the corporation's online budget, with the proviso that it "will want to understand and approve the editorial changes involved".
Image credit: Philippa Waite