BNR Nieuwsradio to seek additional finance from its listeners

Dutch commercial station BNR Nieuwsradio has unveiled a new membership scheme to raise money from its listeners. This follows an announcement on Thursday by FD Mediagroep, the parent company of BNR, of 49 redundancies. The radio station will also be affected, with cuts in its afternoon programming. BNR Nieuwsradio has a weekly reach of just 550,000 listeners, but its listeners are very loyal and its market share is stable.

Editor-in-Chief Paul van Gessel commented that “It would help tremendously if minister Plasterk [the minister responsible for the media] shows as much nerve as French president Sarkozy, and makes public broadcasting advertising-free. Then more advertisement money would come to us.”

It’s not yet clear what BNR will offer to those willing to become members. “Perhaps a big fan day”, according to Mr van Gessel. “But for the time being we can offer 365 days of good radio; isn’t that beautiful enough?”