We were lucky enough to be invited to attend the recent BBC Meet the Media event in London’s Westminster recently.
The speaker, Simon Jack, was both engaging and interesting. Having previously worked as an investment banker, Simon forged a career in journalism before joining the the BBC. He worked as a presenter on BBC Breakfast before joining Radio 4’s ‘Today programme’.
BBC Radio 4’s breakfast segment reports on hard business facts and includes regular face to face interviews with business CEOs. Although the show’s traditional format is set to continue the BBC is more keen than ever to diversify and replenish its breakfast audience.
Due to retirement and old age, many of Radio 4’s audience has ’dropped off’ and the BBC is realising that it needs to make this channel and indeed this key business segment, more appealable to young business professionals. The channel is looking to both further engage its audience and adapt to multi platform habits.
Although the BBC is keen to encourage younger listeners to put forward topics and opinions for a newly revised show, programmers will have to tread a very fine line, ensuring that they do not alienate their existing and established audience.
In our opinion the beeb has got a rather difficult task ahead but we are impressed that the Radio 4 team is realising that business doesn’t have to be boring. There’s no doubt that the key business facts and figures will remain vital to all listeners of the show, but suggestions for new or more ‘current’ subject matters is important for diversification. It is also an extremely positive PR opportunity for the BBC.
Suggestions for introducing interesting consumer facts such as Marks & Spencer’s best selling sandwich or Dulex’s most popular colour of paint, will also help to add a little light and shade to the programme, which we are sure will make it more palatable for this young target audience.
Looking to the future, listening to a new audience and adapting programmes accordingly will no doubt go a long way in bringing the BBC the diverse audiences it craves.