Top Tory: We'll Sell Off BBC Radio 1, Freeze License Fee
August 3, 2009 at 4:58 AM (PT)
A senior CONSERVATIVE PARTY official has proposed that the BBC sell Top 40 RADIO 1 and use the money to freeze the annual license fee paid by listeners. ED VAIZEY, who is the TORIES' shadow broadcasting minister, said that should the TORIES take power in the U.K., RADIO 1 would be put up for auction, with the idea of breaking up the national broadcaster's dominance over commercial rivals in radio and its holding of four of the five national analog FM licenses.
"RADIO 1 is not fulfilling its obligation to its audience," VAIZEY told the SUNDAY TIMES. "Its median age is those in their 30s when it should aim much more at teenagers and [those in] their 20s. There is then a good argument for the BBC to be rid of RADIO 1 and give the commercial sector a chance to use the frequency." He also said that the TORIES would publish all salaries at the BBC, including on-air talent, addressing an issue that has become a major topic in the press in recent months after the revelations of expense account abuses by members of Parliament, who turned their ire around to the public broadcaster, which has not traditionally revealed all salary expenses.