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UPDATE: Controversial BBC Closure Plan Draws Fire


LONDON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The BBC is hedging on its plans to shutter two digital radio stations, including the modern rock outlet 6 Music in the face of public anger over the announced closure plans.

The British Broadcasting Service had announced their intention to shut down two radio stations — 6 Music and the Asian Network — along with numerous BBC operated websites and other services as part of an ambitious shakeup of the government run broadcaster which is currently under pressure from Gordon Brown's labour-led Government.

The controversial plan however, has drawn criticism from numerous sources and a Facebook-based grassroots campaign to save the radio stations has already booked 108,000 members, including British pop star Lily Allen, the Guardian reported.

"It will be awful if they do decide to close BBC 6 Music, and I hope that the backlash they've received so far will make them think twice…" Allen wrote in the paper.

Labor unions have also come out stridently against the shakeup.

"These cuts are totally unnecessary and politically motivated. It is obvious that the BBC is being bounced by its competitors and by the political climate ahead of the upcoming general election." Gerry Morrissey, general secretary of the broadcasting workers’ union Bectu told the London Times. "It is not acceptable for the BBC to be offering up services and jobs as some kind of sacrifice ahead of the general election."

The strong reaction to the proposed cuts appears to be having some effect and Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust has indicated that the BBC is willing to reevaluate their strategy based on "public consultation." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers