#6musicsaved! – to use the Twernacular of Twitter, from whence much of 6 Music’s support flowered. The BBC Trust – whom we hate when they do something stupid, but love when they do something clever – has rejected the BBC’s plans to close the digital radio station 6 Music. In his initial response to the BBC strategy review, BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons said that the case for the closure of 6 Music had not been made. Yay for middle-aged, middle-class white men in suits! Lyons – and I’ve always liked his cakes – said that the Trust, which represents the interests of licence fee payers, would consider closing 6 Music only as part of a wider strategy on the future of digital radio. That’s a stay of execution we can all live with. Sadly, and it is sad, the Trust accepted plans to close the Asian Network, which if anything was a victim of support lag, as more fuss was made of 6 Music, and even though we combined for those well-attended Broadcasting House protests, it didn’t have a sufficiently prevailing wind behind it. Bad news, too, for those working for BBC online who will be out of a job after the 25% budget cut.
Still, 6 Music is the station I work for, and was involved in launching in 2002, and the one I would listen to, by choice, even if I didn’t and hadn’t been. So hooray for us, but mainly hooray for all those who kept the noise of support at fever pitch for months on end, and, like a vuvuzela chorus of common sense, never left the ears of those in power. They came, they consulted, we conquered.
I happened to be in the studio with Lauren Laverne when the embargoed press release came through, and helped distract her by rattling on about what’s coming up on the telly for the best part of half an hour while we waited for the green light to read it out, which she did at approximately 11.03am, followed by AC/DC’s Back In Black. (It befell her to pass on the grim news in March, so there was something poetic about it all. Perhaps the Trust timed their announcement with her show?) Though I was done talking, and Lauren was in charge, I felt proud and honoured to have been in the studio at that happy junction. According to BBC News, she expressed her delight on her Twitter feed: “6Music has been saved. Hooooorrrayyyyy!”
And so say we all. The Zulu Theme will sound particularly epic at 4pm today when I sit in for Steve Lamacq.
*The headline, by the way, comes, possibly ironically, from Twitterer @RupertBurr: “Awesome, 6 Music has been saved, now can we all stop listening to it?”