The director of BBC Television, Danny Cohen, has spoken to the public about the impending closure of BBC Three, which is set to become an online-only service within the next year. Speaking at Creative Week in London, Cohen said the change – rumoured to be saving the Corporation up to £50 million a year – was a “risky one” but the right decision for the BBC’s future.
He pointed to the success of past new media initiatives such as the iPlayer, saying “Of course it’s got risks, and it’s likely we’ll lose some audience in the beginning because television is so powerful. But that’s the risk you take when you make bold moves“. He also said that talk of BBC Three being the only BBC channel aimed at a younger audience was “ridiculous“, and criticized the idea of young people being “ghettoized” by watching BBC Three only.
His statements come, as a letter signed by over 750 celebrities and media personalities, including Daniel Radcliffe, Jack Whitehall, Rob Brydon and Olivia Colman, was delivered to BBC bosses urging them to keep the channel alive. The letter accused the BBC of overly catering to an “increasingly elderly audience” and urged it to keep BBC Three as an investor in new talent.