The Radio Independents Group has written to BBC DG Lord Hall to ask that senior radio expertise is retained within his new commissioning structure.
It is believed Lord Hall will shortly be announcing changes to BBC commissioning, removing some of the current distinctions between TV, radio and online content as the BBC moves towards a more genre-based approach.
The two-page letter, signed by the whole RIG Board, states that whilst RIG’s own members’ work is diversifying beyond radio; ‘to ensure that Licence-Fee payers continue to have the radio content they have come to expect, the BBC must retain, and at a high level, expertise in understanding content that works first and foremost on an audio-first platform’.
It also emphasises communication with indies outside London: ‘This commissioning resource must also be accessible to audio producers all around the UK, to create a level playing field in commissioning where the best ideas will be broadcast regardless of source and geographic location’.
Managing Director Will Jackson said: “UK audio production companies fully realise the world is changing but new technology is actually allowing people to listen to radio in a greater variety of ways. We appreciate Lord Hall’s comment that he wishes to maintain what he calls ‘great channels’. Having senior radio-commissioning expertise present in the new structure will be crucial to ensure the BBC does not let down its many loyal listeners, regardless of the device on which they are listening”.