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Media: Talk of the Trade: The radical option: leave well alone

A RADICAL thought for the BBC governors: why not continue to broadcast Radio 4 on FM and long wave for the foreseeable future? If the Government says this is not an efficient use of the airwaves, the BBC could argue that Radio 4 is a special case. If rolling news is so important to the BBC, it could make Radio 5 a sports and news network.

Wisely, in view of the Radio 4 furore, the BBC has decided to let public opinion decide the futures of Radios 1, 2 and 5, and has chosen not to revamp Radio 1. Meanwhile, the BBC News and Current Affairs department yesterday was steaming at the way Radio 4 allowed Michael Heseltine's statement and the Commons debate on the coal industry only half an hour. In contrast, BBC 2 ran 90 minutes.