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BBC INTRODUCING MODIFIED
2/6/23

The BBC is reducing its Introducing programs to 20 from 32 while upping online exposure for new acts. The move follows concerns raised from music industry orgs about the future of the talent development initiative.

In the future, 20 new BBC Introducing programs will be broadcast across 39 local stations each week. For the first time, the shows will be broadcast twice a week—on Thursday and Saturday evenings.

In addition, new bands and artists will also prominently feature in the new Local to Me section on online portal BBC Sounds. An Introducing Artist of the Week will feature on all 39 local stations with featured tracks being promised peak-time airplay.

The move is to reflect the fact that more people are turning to BBC Sounds to listen, according to Chris Burns, controller of Local Audio Commissioning.

"We want to do more on there and in our peak daytime schedules to showcase new talent," he said. "The Introducing shows on local BBC stations play an important part in supporting new talent and will continue to do so.”

Several music industry trade bodies wrote an open letter to the BBC in January, urging it to protect the future of BBC Introducing following the news that every on-air personality working at every local radio station had been put at risk of layoffs.

Cutting local shows, the letter said, “would be a fundamental blow to the health of the entire grassroots sector. New and emerging artists already face significant obstacles to breaking into the music industry, challenges that are amplified for those artists and musicians living outside of the major cities."

The BBC says that the changes are part of a wider plan to modernize its local services to deliver greater value to communities across England. It says that overall investment in local services is being maintained but changes have to be made to adapt to audience needs and “strike the best possible balance between live and on-demand services.”