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Various: Danish classical radio channel under threat

Published: Jun 10, 2010 - 07:00 AM

   In an effort to break up the monopoly of the Danish Radio (DR) broadcasting corporation on public-service broadcasting in Denmark, the government is considering plans to give away one of the corporation’s radio stations. According to reports, the proposals could spell the end for P2, the country’s only station dedicated to classical music and jazz.

If the plans go ahead, the new station would create a commercial-free, nationwide alternative to the DR channels, to encourage competition in radio news journalism. The government is also prepared to contribute DKK125m (€16.8m) in seed money for the new channel – larger than the 2010 budget for P1 and P2 combined.

The discussions have come about as part of negotiations on a new four-year contract with DR, which will begin in January next year. DR currently has four national radio licences, but the proposals would reduce that number to three. Writing in the Berlingske Tidende newspaper, culture minister Per Stig Møller sought to reassure those who feared for the survival of P2, saying, ‘It is not true that we in the government dictates that DR must dismantle P2… Programming at DR´s current four FM channels will be distributed proportionately on the remaining three channels, as demonstrated by the government´s proposal. The government has full confidence that DR can prioritize the programs offered.’

Among those against the proposals is conductor Giordano Bellincampi, general music director at the Danish National Opera. He told the paper, ‘Classical music will survive, because there is an audience and a necessity for it, but it will become an even narrower part of the population. A public service channel serves to create a national identity – through sports and drama, but also through the music and cultural programming on the radio.’




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