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Jarvis demands quick resolution to save 6music

By | Published on Friday 2 July 2010

Jarvis Cocker yesterday cautioned the Save 6 brigade about getting too excited about the news 6music might get a stay of execution courtesy of the BBC Trust, saying the digital station could do without a sustained period of insecurity.

As previously reported, The Times yesterday predicted that the BBC Trust will tell management at the Corporation that they can’t shut down the digital music station – as they have proposed – but must instead undertake another consultation to assess the value of the service. Jarvis worries that although this will save 6 in the short term, it will extend the period of insecurity for the people who work there, because the Trust instigated consultation could still result in the service being ultimately closed.

Pulp man and 6music presenter Jarvis was speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Association Of Independent Music in London yesterday. According to Billboard, he joked that “I only started working there in January and then it was about three weeks later they decided to close it down – I did try not to take that personally”.

On the Times report, he continued: “They [the Trust] may try to stall and say we need longer to think this over. But they should stick with the [original] timetable [and make a final decision]. It would be unfair on staff at the station to have to continue working under such uncertainty. And it would be a slightly dirty trick if they tried to prolong [the process] and hope everyone forgets about it, [so they can quietly shut it down in eighteen months time]”.

Of course, the quick decision Cocker wants is that 6music will live on. He told the AIM event that “it really is the only place a lot of bands are going to get played” and that shutting it down “would have a detrimental effect”.

Elsewhere at the AIM AGM, the boss of the trade body, Alison Wenham, also had some strong words for the BBC. In a speech that also took a swipe at Google and the government’s plans to turn off the FM radio network in 2015, she was most angry about the Beeb’s plans to shut 6, saying BBC bosses had provided only “poor excuses” for shutting down their only truly eclectic music service. She also disputed the idea that only younger listeners were interested in music-heavy radio. According to Music Week, she concluded: “I am of a certain age. By rights I should have stopped listening to music by now. I should be drinking Ovaltine. [But I am not]. Wake up and listen to people like me”.

Although covering a number of challenges facing the wider music industry, and especially the independent sector, in her AGM address, Wenham ended her speech on a high, telling the indie label types in the room “the cult of personality over, a subculture is growing, this is the time for the independents to rise again”.