Plans to shape the future of the BBC’s services will be presented today amid reports its Birmingham-based Asian Network could be axed.
It has been reported that the broadcaster would close the digital radio station, along with 6 Music, as well as scale back its website by half and cut spending on imported US programmes as it tries to shrink to make room for commercial rivals.
The reported proposals are part of a document to be considered by the BBC Trust, which is due to be made public this month.
A BBC spokesman said the plans would be presented to the trust today.
He said: “Last summer, the BBC Trust challenged the BBC to develop a new strategy to meet the opportunities and the threats of the rapidly changing media landscape.
“The BBC will present its proposals to the BBC Trust tomorrow (March 2), so any current press speculation is premature. At the core of the strategy will be a renewed commitment to serving the British public with programmes and services of the highest quality.
“Audiences admire and value the BBC’s digital services and the BBC will remain fully committed to online and to digital television and radio. But the new strategy will lay out ways of focusing and concentrating licence fee investment on areas and services which are distinctive and best fulfil the BBC’s public purposes, which meet the expectations of licence fee payers but also leave plenty of space for commercial media providers.”
The Asian Network is based at the Mailbox, with programming originating in Birmingham, Leicester and London.
The station broadcasts a variety of music including Bollywood and Bhangra as well as R’n’B, Hip Hop and British Asian Underground.
It also produces news, discussion programmes, documentaries as well as its own urban soap Silver Street.