BBC Trust agrees with DAB investment plans but Asian Network is to be silenced at night; 6Music escapes major change

The BBC Trust has confirmed that it agrees with the corporation's plans to invest in the roll-out of the BBC national DAB multiplex to 97 per cent coverage of the population by 2017 and partner to expand local DAB coverage to 90 per cent of UK homes by 2017, subject to the Government's decision on switchover.

However it recognised concerns from listeners about the closure of medium and long wave (LW) services, realising that the impact of any closure would be difficult to assess. The Trust indicated that more work would be done ahead of any closure of BBC local radio stations on medium wave. Last Saturday's outage of the Radio 4 LW service caused few ripples, indicating that its use is already quite low. The BBC has announced that it would transfer Radio 4 LW programmes to other analogue radio outlets if the LW transmitter at Droitwich failed for good - it has only got a limited lifespan, as the valves used are no longer manufactured.

Asian Network
As part of the cost savings, digital radio station BBC Asian Network will adopt a simpler schedule with less different presenters and production teams, with more music than speech, except during some daytime shows. At night, the Asian Network will in the future close at midnight and resume at 6am. Currently, the BBC Asian Network broadcasts until 1am, followed by a simulcast of BBC Radio 5 live until 5am and an hour of "devotional sounds" airs until 6am. Net scope savings of around £1.7 million aim to be achieved through the changes.

BBC Radio 6 Music has escaped yet again - the once from closure threatened station is expected to have few changes to its output, except for having to share news resources and output more intensely with BBC Radio 2.
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