Subject Futures Week 2016: BBC Music supremo brings SFW to a close

Date 15.02.2016

​Subject Futures Week came to a close today with an appearance by the man behind the music at the BBC.

Head of BBC Music, Bob Shennan, talked about his career and answered questions from a capacity audience in the Great Hall, Maidwell building, Avenue Campus.

Bob, who has the responsibility of coordinating the musical output across the BBC, said: “We came up with the concept to bring all of the music coverage on the BBC together, in the same way we have done so successfully with BBC News and BBC Sport.

“By joining up the output under the BBC Music umbrella gives it a higher profile – it becomes bigger than the sum of its parts.”

Bob started his career as a journalist at Hereward Radio, in Peterborough, in 1984, before moving to BBC Sport three years later as a trainee radio sport producer.

One of the founding members of BBC Radio Five Live, which he later ran, Bob also enjoyed a stint as head of BBC Sport.

He was part of the BBC’s team covering the 1990 World Cup in Italy and thought “that was the apex of my career”, but after a spell with Channel 4, he got his biggest break when he took over the running of BBC Radio 2, replacing Lesley Douglas in the wake of the Sachsgate Scandal​.

“It’s the biggest radio station in Europe, so there was a lot of responsibility, and my first job was to oversee the replacement of our most popular presenter, Terry Wogan, with Chris Evans,” said Bob.

In addition to his roles with BBC Music and Radio 2, Bob is also controller of BBC Asian Network and BBC 6Music

Asked whether he thought the BBC would bring back its most famous programme, music chart television show Top of the Pops, he said: “The answer is no. If people really wanted it back they would bring it back, but I don’t think it would work in its original format.

“It was based on the weekly music singles chart, which are pretty much irrelevant today, as artists can be seen performing everywhere on the internet. It’s not as special to have a band on television as it was in Top of the Pops’ heyday.”

given the different charts and the internet means artists are everywhere. So to have them on a show today, wouldn’t be as special as it was in Top of the Pops

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