age discrimination

Too Old to Rock?

Now don’t get me wrong – I am no fan of Chris Moyles – I think he is a loud mouthed self-publicist. But, the decision to replace him based on the fact that the BBC wishes to attract a younger audience for the show concerns me on two levels.

First – the BBC seems to be exempt from the laws of age discrimination that apply to every other business in the UK.  While the official line is that Moyles quit, Radio One Controller Ben Cooper said that the decision had been made after a ‘private conversation’ and that the decision was ‘part of a whole strategy to bring the average age of the Radio 1 Audience down’. If that isn’t age discrimination I don’t know what is

Second, why do they need to attract a younger audience? And frankly what percentage of this ‘younger demographic’ is going to be up and listening at 6.30am?  The generations have come so much closer together in recent decades in a whole host of areas be it music, fashion or  technology –  ( who would have thought twenty years ago that our grandparents would have a mobile phone?)  I may be 50, but I do share some of the same musical tastes as my 15 year old son (and he mine). The suggestion that the breakfast show and the music it plays is not for me and that I should somehow have a mental switch that pushes me over to Radio 2 as soon as I hit 30  is patronising in the extreme. I listen to Radio 2 sometimes – and sometimes I listen to Radio 1, 4, 5 Live and 6.  So put that in your demographic pipe and smoke it!





6 thoughts on “Too Old to Rock?”

    1. it’s an interesting article but I disagree that I shouldn’t be listening to a station that is there to promote new music to a youth audience – why can’t I listen to new music too?

      1. I agree (and this is why I shudder at the thought of people thinking I should be listening to Celine Dion and Cliff Richard records on Radio 2!) but for Radio 1 to justify itself it has to do what it’s meant to do. If those of us outside the demographic are listening then Radio 1 is just a commercial station without adverts (as Radio 2 pretty much is) and there’s a very weak public service case for that.

        There’s also the argument that if Radio 1 is appealing to those of us over 25 then it’s less appealing to those of the target age group – no teenager wants to listen to the same radio station as their parent!

        As Radio 1 is geared at an age range and not a set generation it has to make a choice – lose listeners by chasing the age group or lose its original purpose by following the generation. When it faced this in the mid-90s it chose the former and few would argue that it didn’t work out (though I would have kept the roadshow!).

        1. interesting points Gareth but my 15 year old doesn’t mind me listening to Radio 1:) And…. who is listening to it between 8.30 and 9.30 when all the teenagers are at school college or work?

  1. The BBC has massively over extended itself. It is a great broadcaster, but it is trying to do too much, and we simply can’t afford it. The music on radio 1 and 2 isn’t that different anyway. Combine Radio 1 and 2, sack the insufferable bore ‘Steve Wright in the Afternoon’. And while we’re about it reduce or eliminate entirely BBC local radio.

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