All national BBC radio stations will be under the spotlight this year as the BBC Trust carries out its regular review.
Past reviews of radio services have led to increased listenership for 6Music after it was threatened with closure by the BBC. BBC Radio 5 live has also gained from having more minority sports covered, whilst Radio 2 has more programmes on comedy and arts.
The first of two reviews will start in May and cover Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2, 6Music, Radio 3 and Asian Network. The second will begin in the summer and will cover speech radio: Radio 4, 4Extra, 5 live and 5 live Sports Extra.
The reviews will assess the performance of each radio station against the requirements of its service licence, looking at listenership, quality, distinctiveness and value for money.
Public consultations will be held when the reviews launch, to gather the views of licence fee payers on BBC Radio, and audience research will also be carried out.
David Liddiment, BBC Trustee and Chair of the Trust’s Audiences and Performance Committee, said: “The BBC was built on the foundations of its radio service 90 years ago and as the latest RAJARs show, they continue to be immensely popular stations, bringing the highest quality news, current affairs, music and entertainment into the homes of millions. Our service reviews are firmly rooted in what audiences tell us – we’ll take an in-depth look at how BBC radio is performing and where improvements are needed as we continue to drive up quality and serve those audiences even better.”
Under the service review programme, Asian Network and 5Live/5live Sports Extra were last reviewed in 2012; Radio 3, 4 and 7 (now Radio 4 Extra) were last reviewed in 2011; Radio 2 and 6Music in 2010; and Radio 1 and 1Xtra in 2009.