Radio 4 listeners want fewer quizzes
Thursday 17 September 1998
The best of the quizzes and panel games will stay, but from the new year factual feature programmes will be run after the World at One two days a week. Radio 4 has broadcast a wide range of panel games at lunchtime trying to find what it calls "the new classics".
However, calls to the Radio 4 helpline, letters and e-mails have shown that programmes like Mastermind, Puzzle Panel, Full Orchestra and X Marks the Spot are too much for listeners when they are on five days a week.
Features on arts, music and rural subjects are being commissioned now to start broadcasting in January.
The 9am news bulletin immediately after the Today programme was scrapped when the new schedule was launched in April to try to carry more listeners through into the post-9am programmes. The station suffers from a massive switch-off after all its news programmes and the new schedule was designed to hold that half of the station's 5 million audience that tunes in just for John Humphrys and The Archers.
However, after conducting listener research and telephone polls, James Boyle, controller of Radio 4, has decided to bring the bulletin back.
"Listeners have told me - and I agree with them - that the 1.30pm slot is not quite right yet," Mr Boyle told members of the Voice of the Listener and Viewer pressure group in London last night.
"In response to listener feedback, I am also restoring the two-minute news bulletin at 9am, which will take effect from Monday October 5."
Listeners had complained that a "landmark" in their morning routine had disappeared with the two-minute summary, a Radio 4 spokeswoman said.
The BBC chairman, Sir Christopher Bland, yesterday acknowledged that listening figures for parts of the schedule introduced in April were "a little disappointing", and Mr Boyle said it had yet to win universal approval.
Listening figures since the radical schedule changes have been mixed: audience numbers were up, but the hours of listening were slightly down. They did indicate, however, that the audience for the half-hour quiz slot after the World At One programme has slumped by a fifth compared to the previous year when the World at One was longer and was followed by The Archers.
Sir Christopher said: "I think the interim figures are interesting but inconclusive. Some aspects of them were a little disappointing.
"We always said that judgment should not be short term, and the changes in the schedule wouldn't be a quick fix."
The next quarterly set of the industry's official Rajar listening figures would give a better idea of how it was settling down, he said at the launch of the BBC's latest "Statement Of Promises".
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 Floyd Mayweather's mouthguard costs $25,000 - enough to fly to Las Vegas and back 18 times
- 5 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Which country would be hardest to invade?
Morgan Freeman on the riot-focused coverage of the Baltimore protests: 'F**k the media'
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
Nepal earthquake: Many survivors receiving no help despite relief effort
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...