Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Could this be the beginning of the end for radio drama?"

Don't touch that dial: the threat to radio drama | Television & radio | The Guardian

The reason, of course, is cost. At £23,000 per hour, the BBC spends on radio drama about one 40th of what it might pay for an hour of television. Hampton's White Chameleon is a marquee production for Radio 4, and yet there are no White Chameleon baseball caps, no Dionysian trailers, no egos being massaged (no time). Gather its entire cast and crew together, and you would not have enough people for a football match. This, BBC bosses argue, is why Radio 4's main evening slot, the Friday Play, will cease to exist from next year; it was either save there, where the audience is smallest, or cut everything else beyond the bone.
Welcome to the media ghetto, British Audio Drama. You'll find it well populated.

Jeez. £23,000 per hour. (That's a touch over $35,000 in "real" money. *ahem*) The Atlanta Radio Theatre Company, in over 25 years of producing award-winning radio drama, hasn't spent that much money altogether. We'd shoot a puppy -- well, maybe in the leg, only to wound -- for $35,000.

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