The news that Radio 2 is to cull the 'Listen to the Band' programme has reached the august pages of The Daily Telegraph — a newspaper not noted for its support of the BBC.
In an article by arts and entertainment editor Anita Singh, headlined: 'Radio 2 puts Jo Whiley in the driving seat — but axes its golden oldies' it reported on the 'resting' of both 'Listen to the Band' and 'The Organist Returns', presented by Nigel Ogden.
It stated that: "Renton and Ogden will be replaced in their late night slots by Sara Cox, who has a new 10pm-midnight show offering an 'upbeat playlist' and interviews with theatre, film and music stars".
It added that Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2, was reported as saying that "…the station needed to 'refresh' its specialist genres", adding, "… as the audience evolves we have to reflect what best serves their needs."
I've no quibbles with the BBC. I've been there for a long time so they treated me with a great deal of respect, but at the end of the day you're getting the sackFrank Renton in The Daily Telegraph
It also quoted Frank Renton, who has been the freelance presenter of the programme for 23 years and will continue to work in other high profile presenting roles in different musical spheres, as well as Listen to the Band until it is taken off air, as telling the newspaper: "The programme is finished. I have been doing it for 23 years. I'm very sad.
Listeners will be equally upset because there are a large number of people involved in band culture in Great Britain, and they enjoy their weekly outing with BBC Radio 2 and now they have lost it.
I've no quibbles with the BBC. I've been there for a long time so they treated me with a great deal of respect, but at the end of the day you're getting the sack."