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1930s music ignored by Radio 2
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mark occomore



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't read to much into Malcolm leaving? Although it does seem the station are looking for fresher faces to take over some shows.
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colby



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark occomore wrote:
I wouldn't read to much into Malcolm leaving?


What else are we supposed to read into the statement "this is my last show" if he didn't actually mean, er, "this is my last show"?
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mark occomore



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

colby wrote:
mark occomore wrote:
I wouldn't read to much into Malcolm leaving?


What else are we supposed to read into the statement "this is my last show" if he didn't actually mean, er, "this is my last show"?


I mean some people will think he's been pushed out the door.
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colby



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mark occomore wrote:
I mean some people will think he's been pushed out the door.


So... he's not leaving?
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John W



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been unable to find Malcolm Laycock's own personal website to confirm that he has posted a message there, but anyway Malcolm has replied to me saying,

>>
Thank you for your message.

Yes. You are right....I was indeed ordered to drop the British dance bands.
That was just one part of the long-running disputes I have had with Radio 2. I will not go into the details, but I understand that Radio 2 has said on its 'message board' pages that I have left "for personal reasons". Not so.

I have issued the following :-

"I am very saddened to have ended my 'Sunday Night at 10' programmes after 14 years. I did not want to leave but unfortunately Radio 2 was not able to offer me a satisfactory new contract, which left me with no alternative but to withdraw. The music, the musicians and the audiences have been my life and my pleasure since my first big band and swing programmes over 30 years ago. For the moment I shall take a rest and draw breath. But who knows? Sometimes when one door closes, another one opens....!"

Kind regards
Malcolm Laycock

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John W
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MadeinSurrey



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not surprised at all. So once again the BBC demonstrates its utter contempt for the people who pay for it. It can only be a matter of time before all specialist programmes on 2 are swept away, and the likes of Terry, Ken and Sarah are given the same scandalous treatment as poor Malcolm.
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Mark Mayhew



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The day can't come quick enough for me re the exit door for Kennedy, Wogan and Bruce.

Radio 2 needs to evolve and a make over of the daytime schedules is sorely needed.

Shame about Malcolm though-hopefully he will resurface somewhere new soon for those of who are fans of his.
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Jazzmin



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And all of this happens just as R2 have been asking for audience feedback in the Service Review - as if they care what we want !

Personally I feel there's a distinction between
a) specialist music shows, for which an in-depth knowledge of the subject should be an absolute requirement, and
b) mostly-talk output, with presenters who may not necessarily be world experts on the mainstream music they are playing, as long as they can entertain. Having said that, I totally deplore the trend to buy in "celebrities" from the telly, at enormous expense. Most of them are neither knowledgeable nor any good at presenting on the radio. If you are a presenter patiently slogging your way up through local radio and trying to build a career, it must be really galling to see these eejits swanning in and earning huge sums.

We could debate endlessly our personal preferences as regards "talk" radio presenters, but I feel that is pointless, because of the width of Radio 2's remit. At the risk of stating the what-should-be-bloomin'-obvious, R2 is meant to cater for "Everybody over 35" - does the Beeb management ever stop to consider what this REALLY means? - it should therefore be expected that one individual will not like all of the shows, all of the time.
I'm 45 and my parents are in their 80s - we should all be able to find something on Radio 2 that we can listen to. It won't be the same stuff - but that is exactly how it should be.

Finally, having said all that, Malcolm Laycock's dance band music was one of the things that both generations of my family enjoyed.
I only hope, as ML says, that another door will soon open for him.
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Jazzmin



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You might be interested to read this interview with Frances Line, Radio 2 controller in 1994. In it she says;

"...we have actually targeted the over-fifties. It is a growing audience, and I am fairly confident they will stay with us. The median age of the audience is 61 and they listen for long periods, very faithfully."


So tell me what has changed since then? We now have a situation where Radio 2 no longer seems to want any listeners over 50 years old, or any music over 50 years old. And as for listeners past retirement age... Radio 2 seems now to consider them an embarrassment.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/media-radio-2s-proudest-listener-frances-line-tells-margaret-farrall-how-she-persuades-9-million-people-to-stay-tuned-longer-1413535.html
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colby



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A 15-year-old entry. That's good research - well done.

It just goes to show that the various new brooms in the cupboard have had their own ideas - ideas that have been supported by senior management, of course (most of whom are MBA graduates and accountants with little or no passion for radio in the UK).

Maybe we should start mustering up a real campaign of complaint rather than pussy-footing around the periphery of this whole mess...........
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Helen May



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been away for a few days so just catching up on everything.

I believe the Trustees 'look in to Radio 2' closes on 30 July so maybe there is just time to make a complaint about this to them?

H
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John W



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a British Dance Bands Yahoo group and several members have been communicating with the Trust and with R2 executive producers ever since Malcolm's show was altered last Nov. The Trust though have said programme changes are not their concern.

The departure of Malcolm, and the circumstances, however, could be of interest to the Trust, but Malcolm's statement suggests some sort of contract was offered, unacceptable to Malcolm, and the tone of Malcolm's recent statement suggests he is unlikely to want to return to R2 while the current management team are there.

John W
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Jazzmin



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Radio 2's peculiar problem: its core audience is much older than other stations - 56 per cent over 55, 76 per cent over 45 - and so it faces the constant fact of listeners leaving, not because they have tuned to the competition, but because they've tuned to what Frances Line used to call "Radio Grim Reaper". Moir puts it more tactfully: "If you are a station which has a particular skew to the mature audience, inevitably natural attrition affects you slightly worse than it does the general market."

As long as this remains true, Radio 2 will be forever on the run down the age scale, seeking to bring in younger listeners and in the process risking alienating the older ones it relies on."


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/not-so-easy-listening-on-radio-2-1347311.html

http://www.transdiffusion.org/rmc/bbc/justforyou.php

Above are 2 more takes on Radio 2's last couple of controller changes. It's food for thought, even if you don't agree with all of it.
I sent my form in for the Service Review today, for what it's worth... protesting that there is no point in telling us to contact the Trust with complaints, when they are not in charge of programme content. Or it that just a conveniently non-productive way for the Beeb to deal with the issue ?

I wonder if Radio 2's target of "everybody over 35" is almost impossible to cover without favouring a particular age group. How do you attract new audiences who've just outgrown Radio 1, whilst simultaneously catering for these people's parents and grandparents?

I don't think it helps that in this "interactive" age, many people are very demanding, and do not want to share a station with others who have different tastes. "Why is my pop programme followed by this brass band music!@!!"
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colby



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John W wrote:
The Trust though have said programme changes are not their concern.


That's fair enough. The Trust is effectively a regulator rather than an operator. It has to exist at arm's length from the operation and should be concerned with whether or not the corporation is doing what it's supposed to be doing according to the terms of its Charter. Programme changes are operational matters.

Jazzmin wrote:
.
I sent my form in for the Service Review today, for what it's worth... protesting that there is no point in telling us to contact the Trust with complaints, when they are not in charge of programme content. Or it that just a conveniently non-productive way for the Beeb to deal with


Again, the Trust has a regulatory role and shouldn't be concerned with such things. However, making a deposition to the Trust on matters relating to its request for listener feedback in the manner described is a way of it evaluating the BBC's overall performance in a number of key areas, which is a different thing.
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Jazzmin



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

colby wrote:
Quote:
Programme changes are operational matters


Understood: but this means that, using the BBC Complaints process, there is no way for listeners to question any decision regarding programme content.
Is everyone OK with this?

The BBC Executive rules on editorial decisions, but you are not invited to write to them. All complaints are directed to the Trust - no other option is given.

I followed the complaints process to Trust level - this took significant time and effort. My complaint never stood a chance of being considered by the Trust; it took me a while to find this out, but the BBC knew already. That is what annoys me.
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John W



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Daily Telegraph has picked up the Malcolm Laycock story:

http://tinyurl.com/mfgs5n


The BBC is suggesting that salary was an issue (as well as music content).


John
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Ian Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John W wrote:
The Daily Telegraph has picked up the Malcolm Laycock story:

http://tinyurl.com/mfgs5n


The BBC is suggesting that salary was an issue (as well as music content).


John

Well, yes, but that could simply be a case of offering him money that they knew he wouldn't take (or hoping he'd take it, and they'd get a specialist show on the cheap - either way, they win).
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mark occomore



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't care what people think or the BBC deny there motive or excuses. I do think it's another nail in the coffin with Radio 2 and celebrities who are taking over the station airwaves. We don't need celebrities in every corner of the station.
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John W



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The smokescreen continues at the BBC R2 messageboard, host Peta denying that Bob McDowall admitted that listeners switched off AFTER dance bands. I have replied:

Quote:
Peta,

I am NOT confused about the programme, I am confused about Bob McDowall's reasoning.

You have posted Bob McDowall's message of 25/11/08. But I was referring to a further e-mail that I had from Bob on 9/12/08 in which he said:

Quote:

This is a decision which has not been taken in the cause of populism but to provide listeners with a show that has more of a thread running through it.

When making changes I was also aware that
this would not win popularity contests in certain quarters.

However, audience reaction such as '...I always switched off after the first half' has strengthened my feelings that something had to be done.


Surely if people switched off AFTER the dance bands then it was the later part that was the problem, not the dance bands.

So you see, Peta, Bob's decision is preplexing and it was never fully explained.


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colby



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is Peta a moderator of a web forum or the Public Relations executive for the BBC?
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Fred



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't listen to Malcom's show all the time - however I did enjoy it when I listened.

I am annoyed that his last show was whilst I was away in Greece, with me having no access to a computer. Sad
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John W



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our suspicions are confirmed. BBC executive producer Bob McDowall thinks his opinion is more important than 350,000 listeners:

Malcolm Laycock's side of the story:

> http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206803/A-parting-blast-BBC-Radio-2-s-voice-big-band.html


>>
A long-standing Radio 2 presenter has accused the BBC of sidelining
older listeners and ‘attacking’ their music.

Malcolm Laycock, who presented big band show The Age Of Swing, said the
Corporation ‘no longer exists to serve the public’ and criticised
Radio 2 for replacing light music and jazz with ‘soft rock’.

The 70-year-old presenter also claims he was ‘constructively
dismissed’ after 14 years presenting his Sunday-night show.
He told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Listeners are up in arms about Radio 2
and its policy towards the older age group.

Some say, “They’re attacking the music.” What you have is show
after show, hour after hour of white rock music.

'It’s just soft rock on Radio 2 all day. After Radio 2 won an award,
they put up a sign above the door saying, “The most listened to
station in the UK.”

'That is wrong. That’s the job of a commercial station.

‘I think the BBC has gone off the rails. It’s a great big oil tanker
that is careering in the wrong direction.

'It’s not existing to serve the public any more. It’s existing to
grow bigger and bigger, and for managers to earn more and more.’

Mr Laycock announced his decision to leave Radio 2 live on air after a
long-running dispute with BBC bosses and his new executive producer, Bob
McDowall, over the content of the show.
‘Bob told me he didn’t like British dance bands. He thought they
were a distraction and they were boring,’ Mr Laycock said.

‘Last September, he sent me a message saying as of three weeks’
time, you’re to drop British dance bands and have all swing. I emailed
him to say we ought to discuss it.
'I got an email back saying, “What is there to discuss?” It was
rude. Since that decision I have never seen him and he hasn’t rung me.’

Although many of the show’s 360,000 listeners complained to the BBC,
the decision has not been reversed.

Mr Laycock also said his role at the BBC had changed and he was doing
the jobs of both a presenter and producer.

‘It was a full-time job,’ he said. ‘They were paying me just over
£24,000 for 52 programmes, 52 hours of radio. It is the same average
pay for a student leaving college.’

He asked Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan to be paid for his work as a
producer – an extra £14,000 a year – but was told no salaries would
be increased in the wake of the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand scandal.

Mr Laycock decided he would make no progress unless he threatened to
quit: ‘I scripted a programme saying goodbye. Bob Shennan came to see
me, saying,

“Malcolm, what can we do to convince you?”’

But he says there was little effort made to change his working
conditions. ‘As far as I’m concerned, it amounted to constructive
dismissal. I’ve been put into a position where I cannot carry on.’

A Radio 2 spokeswoman said: ‘Malcolm was not constructively dismissed.
As we were unable to meet his demands of a pay rise of 60 per cent in
his new freelance presenter contract, he decided to leave.

'A meeting was held to discuss the change in format to the show, at
which it was agreed that the rigid format of 50 per cent British dance
bands and 50 per cent big band music would be dropped.’

Mr Laycock began his career at the BBC in the Sixties, presenting jazz
shows on Radio London and the World Service before taking over The Age
Of Swing in 1995.

Read more:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206803/A-parting-blast-BBC-Radio-2-s-voice-big-band.html#ixzz0OMWho2iZ


<<


John
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John W



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Discussion about Malcolm Laycock's statement have been stifled over at R2MB

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbradio3/F14126215?thread=6788788&latest=1

I did laugh when Howard asked : Why are these posts hidden including one asking why the posts have been hidden?


John[/url]
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colby



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it's a classic "Answers on a postcard, please" situation!

What a mess R2 has become.

Planet Rock was good this afternoon and early evening! Smile
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MadeinSurrey



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 18, 2009 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find this immensely sad. So dance band music is "boring"? Rolling Eyes Sad What hope is there for this genre if it is kept in the cupboard, and how long will it be before the likes of Ella and Frank go the same way. I do wonder what Radio 2 is for, seemingly just to be an extension of Radio 1 .

A golden opportunity is being wasted.
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