The new BBC radio director in conversation


As the new Director of BBC Radio, Bob Shennan’s responsibilities are immense. Looking at the UK listening figures, Bob tells us that ‘Listening now tops a billion hours’ and ‘9 out of 10 adults are listening every week’. The future looks bright in Bob’s mind, saying that ‘radio is nothing if not adaptable and resilient and that ‘a new golden age of radio is still to come.’ Although digital is important to Bob and the BBC, he says ‘99% of our consumption is linear radio’ so ‘working hard on the linear play is the number one priority’. The overnight schedule has never performed as well as the rest of the schedule for Radio 2, so the new playlist shows are an attempt to shake up the formats and introduce new music to the audience. Was it just about the audience numbers? No, ‘the BBC has to live within its means’ so as the weakest part of the day, this was the place to make the savings. Bob Shennan closed with his aims for the future, which are to reinvent and grow radio, focusing particularly on building on “My BBC” within the iplayer apps. Helping build a personalised ‘vat of audio content’ to encourage people to spend more time with content from the BBC.

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