BBC Media Centre
Published: 11:30 am, 29 May 2023
Updated: 11:24 am, 28 May 2023
BBC Radio 4 begins information campaign to transition listeners from Long Wave.
The BBC has begun an information campaign to help transition listeners of Radio 4 Long Wave (LW) to alternative BBC platforms.
This follows the announcement in May 2022 that the BBC is to stop scheduling separate content for Radio 4 LW in anticipation of the closure of the LW platform, owned and operated by a third party, which is coming to the end of its life as a technology.
Radio 4 LW is starting to run targeted on air trails from today, giving listeners plenty of advance notice of the coming changes.
All programmes on Radio 4 LW – Shipping Forecast, Daily Service, Yesterday in Parliament and Test Match Special – will continue to be available on other BBC platforms.
Digital listening has grown significantly over the past decade as the range of alternatives has become easier to switch to, and listeners are increasingly accessing content elsewhere on the BBC. The audiences for Radio 4 LW are small, but we know there are some who still tune in on LW for their favourite programmes.
The BBC is working with key organisations so that specific audiences will be notified how they can switch to other BBC platforms to hear programmes between now and the end of Radio 4 LW separate scheduling in March 2024.
The Shipping Forecast will cease to be broadcast four times a day, and will instead be available via the Radio 4 FM simulcast twice a day (weekdays) and three times a day (weekends) as well as on DAB and BBC Sounds.
It will also continue to be broadcast via HM Coastguard’s channels. Whilst modern technology and new methods means the Shipping Forecast is no longer integral to mariners, the BBC has been working closely with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and the Met Office to ensure seafarers have adequate advance notice of the changes taking place next year and can prepare accordingly.
The Daily Service and the longer version of Yesterday in Parliament will also continue on LW until March 2024 and will then be available on BBC Radio 4 Extra and BBC Sounds.
Yesterday in Parliament will still be broadcast on the Today programme on Radio 4 FM/DAB.
Test Match Special is already available uninterrupted on Radio 5 Sports Extra and BBC Sounds where listeners will continue to be able to access it digitally. All scheduled cricket matches on Radio 4 LW will still be broadcast this summer, for the final time. Radio 4 LW listeners will be reminded where they can hear the cricket across the BBC going forward.
Mike Terry to Longwaveradiolistening iog (2023-05-29)