In January, the BBC announced it would be changing the structure of its BBC Introducing programming – which spotlights up-and-coming musical talent in local areas – as cuts are set to cancel the service.
The changes will see shows in England and the channel islands cut back from 32 to 20 according to NME, with the jobs of a number of producers and presenters potentially at risk.
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The legendary producer and CHIC frontman shared a statement detailing his support of BBC Introducing, with a map that shows the “extent of the restructuring process”.
His statement on Instagram names the outlet as a “positive light on some of our most creative talent” and an “essential part of turning today’s wannabes into the culturally important phenomenons of tomorrow”.
The post continues: “While the BBC reprioritise money for online and to create a new team of investigative journalists, local music scenes are to lose out. Opportunities for up-and-coming musicians will be scaled back to just two hours a week in regional shows taking in multiple counties across large parts of the UK.
“The hours are to be stripped right back and most of the current presenters have had to reapply for their jobs – with many of these people who live and breathe their local scene not being offered anything in the restructuring.”
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In a joint statement between Rodgers and the founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund, Merck Mercuriadis they say: “We have had the privilege of traveling the world which gives us an incredible perspective to how amazing BBC Radio is to the success of music throughout the world.. Its mandate is to play new music and new artists so you’re always going to hear ‘what’s next’ before anyone else gets to.
“Not only British artists but global artists too and for many years the first port of call for today’s superstars has been BBC Introducing.. It’s an essential part of turning today’s wannabes into the culturally important phenomenons of tomorrow.”
BBC 6 Music broadcaster Tom Robinson has launched a campaign to support local BBC Introducing presenters and raise public awareness of the situation.
“Those shows, staffed by enthusiasts and volunteers have been supporting local music communities around the country with airplay, interviews and sessions ever since the network was founded in 2007. Many have worked to set up local gigs, festival stages and outside broadcasts for musicians in their area,” he wrote in a blog update.
Robinson concludes: “From August onwards, all that is about to change.”
Read Nile Rodger’s full statement below.
Written by: Tim Hopkins