Tom Robinson urges artists and music fans to communicate their appreciation for the local BBC Introducing shows

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By Chris Cooke | Published on Monday 16 January 2023

BBC Music Introducing

Musician and broadcaster Tom Robinson has urged both listeners and artists who have discovered great music and/or enjoyed support from one of the local BBC Introducing shows to say so via his Fresh On The Net website.

Those programmes are currently under threat because of wider cuts to the BBC’s network of local radio stations. Based on plans announced last year, the Beeb’s local stations around England will start sharing regional programmes for chunks of the day, with a single show across all the stations each weekday at 10pm. Which, of course, means fewer programmes being made overall and fewer presenters and producers making them.

The BBC’s Introducing scheme has always relied on its network of local radio shows to form connections with each local music community, identifying and championing new talent in each area, as well as supporting the people and organisations that make up each local music industry.

If the outcome of the current changes to BBC local radio is a smaller number of regional shows, it’s feared those connections will be lost.

Robinson – who hosts one of the national BBC Introducing shows, ‘The Introducing Mixtape’ on 6 Music – said on Twitter last week: “If you’ve appreciated our network of local BBC Introducing shows across England and the Channel Islands over the past fifteen years, here’s a chance to say so”. He then linked to a form on the Fresh On The Net website.

Above that form is an explanation of how BBC Introducing currently works. “BBC Music Introducing is a network of radio shows across the UK supporting new and interesting music at grassroots level”, it says.

“The backbone of that network consists of 32 local shows on stations across England and the Channel Islands. They’re supplemented by flagship programmes in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and on the BBC’s national networks such as Radio 1, 6 Music, 1Xtra and Asian Network”.

“Those 32 backbone shows air every Saturday night, supporting local artists with local airplay, interviews and sessions – often on shoestring budgets”, it continues. “Their dedicated teams of enthusiasts try to provide local gigs, festival stages and outside broadcasts whenever possible – and to forward their discoveries to sister shows on local and national BBC stations for further airplay”.

Not only that, but “these teams listened to an average of 4000 tracks a week last year – all of which were uploaded by the artists direct to their local show free of charge, with no need to pay a record plugger”.

“Many of today’s hotly-tipped names got their first airplay through BBC Introducing”, it goes on, “though our job isn’t just to act as scouts for the UK record industry. Introducing’s crowning achievement since 2007 has been helping listeners find interesting new music and help interesting musicians find new listeners year in, year out – whether or not that music was destined for the Top 75”.

Listeners and artists who want to communicate their support for the local BBC Introducing shows can do so here.

READ MORE ABOUT: BBC | BBC Introducing | Tom Robinson

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