Myers to review BBC radio

By | Published on Monday 29 November 2010

The former boss of GMG Radio, John Myers, has been appointed by the BBC to undertake a review of Radios 1, 2, 1Xtra and 6music with a view to him making proposals as to how these stations could provide their current range of services more cost efficiently.

Finding cost savings at the BBC’s vastly over-staffed, hugely over-resourced national radio stations isn’t going to be all that difficult, though presumably somebody high up in the Corporation hopes someone of Myer’s experience has sufficient credibility in the industry that any cuts he proposes can then be forced on bosses at each of the four radio stations with minimum backlash.

Or, perhaps more importantly, that by bringing in a man from a commercial radio background to undertake the review the Beeb can placate its increasingly vocal critics in the commercial sector, most of whom want to see the BBC’s national stations cut down to size or, in the case of Radios 1 and 2, maybe even privatised.

Whether either of those things can be achieved remains to be seen. Though Andrew Harrison of commercial radio trade body RadioCentre did tell reporters: “Although this falls short of a formal benchmarking exercise, we would still expect John Myers, who is greatly respected across all of the industry, to identify both areas of best practice and possible savings”.

Myers previously undertook a review of the commercial radio sector for the last UK government, and was recently asked to take over as CEO of radio industry organisation the Radio Academy. He won’t take on that new job until his consulting work for the Beeb is completed.