BBC axes Listen to the Band
BBC has announced that the Radio 2 'Listen to the Band' programme is to be 'rested' indefinitely following a comprehensive revamping of the station's output, thus marking the end of any regular brass band broadcasts on national BBC radio and worrying media commentators that this spells the end of the BBC’s true public service broadcasting remit.
First broadcast in 1946 and hosted for the past 23 years by Frank Renton, the last Listen to the Band broadcast will be aired on 8 May, but the yearly Young Brass Award will go ahead as a Friday Night Is Music Night special in April.
Although audience figures have dropped, the programme, compiled in Birmingham for over a decade by Producer, Terry Carter, has enjoyed a substantial audience throughout the World.
Outlining the changes, which also include the demise of The Organist Entertains, the Head of Radio 2, Lewis Carnie, commented on a blog: "They have been long-serving programmes on Radio 2, but as the audience evolves, we have to reflect what best serves their needs and where there is scope to broaden our offering.
"I'd like to thank Frank, Nigel and Paul for entertaining their listeners for many years, and on behalf of the listeners and everyone at Radio 2, wish them the best of luck for the future."
Frank Renton is reported as commenting: "My 23 years presenting Listen to the Band have been hugely enjoyable, especially playing so much of the music that I love. It has also been an absolute pleasure being part of the Radio 2 family, and I want to thank all those who have listened or contributed to the programme over the years. Of course, the next thing on the agenda is the continued celebration of the talent of young British brass players, when Ken Bruce and I present the final of the BBC Radio 2 Young Brass Award in April."
If you wish to make your views known to Lewis Carnie, he can be emailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org