How very disappointing it was to read that 4radio is closing
I had been looking forward to it with great anticipation. And not just as one of the ever-dwindling number of news outlets by whom I might someday get employed……
4radio promised a serious (and sorely-needed) rival to the BBC’s speech radio dominance.
Now, there is no such challenger on the horizon.
BBC Radio 4
I should say at this point that I am a huge fan of BBC Radio 4 (and BBC Radio in general). I think it is informed, interesting and covers a range of fascinating topics.
But I am also acutely aware that this Radio 4 love is a recently-kindled passion.
Before the age of about 21, the station didn’t really cross my radar (nor I, consequently, its RAJAR).
It felt stuffy and a bit remote from me; I wanted my news to be just as informed but a little more lively.
Radio 4 seems to be something you grow into. Like wine. And cleaning. And dinner parties.
Surely there is a gap in the radio market for serious news with upbeat presentation?
At the moment, such an audience are adrift somewhere between Radio 1’s Newsbeat – which is excellent at packaging news in an engaging style – and the more heavyweight subject matter of the Today programme.
Channel 4 could have been the answer.
Its trendy but clever TV news style strikes exactly the right tone and, translated to radio, could have been a serious contender.
But alas, no more.
It is time for someone to step into the barely-worn shoes of 4radio and provide a younger, trendier but equally intelligent version of Radio 4.
But with news budgets slimming faster than Fern Britten after the gastric band, who can now realistically challenge Auntie?