BBC Asian Network looks set to close

The BBC Asian Network radio news and talk station looks set to close under proposals outlined by BBC director general Mark Thompson today.

His strategic review now goes to the BBC Trust which will make final conclusions later in the year after a further consultation

The Asian Network aims to provide “high-quality news and discussion, helping British Asians connect with their cultural and linguistic roots”.

However Thompson said today in his report that audience is in decline and cost per listener is “extremely high”.

“The BBC therefore proposes that the Trust considers closing the Asian Network as a national service, exploring a number of options for redeploying its investment and meeting the needs of Asian audiences more effectively.”

One option is to replace it with a network of five part-time local services with some syndicated national Asian programmes. These would be available on local DAB and local medium wave radio serving areas with the largest British Asian communities.

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