The Mood of the Nation

The death of the Duke of Edinburgh meant significant, instant changes, to the output of hundreds of radio stations and websites. With consumers used to choice and their favourites, many were surprised to be left without them on Friday afternoon.

‘Obit’ – the obituary policy – tends to get activated by most UK stations on the death of a category one royal (the Queen, Prince Charles, Prince William and the Duke of Edinburgh) or that of the Prime Minister. The plan tends to be to cancel or regular programming and replace it with content suitable for the mood of the nation

Much of this is steeped in history – and for the days when there was only a handful of TV and radio stations, what all good citizens were glued to.

It went hand in hand with the monopoly driven analogue media world. The stations reflected the mood of the nation, that they themselves had probably created.

Today’s Obit genuflecting is perhaps more driven by a fear of what the Daily Mail will say, rather than what it should be, which is reflecting the tastes of listeners or viewers.

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1 Comment
  1. Absolute deserve plaudits. I was listening to Absolute Radio 90s at the time, and didn’t even notice the join: between songs there was a announcement that programming had been changed as a mark of respect for Prince Philip’s death, and the music continued with a less lively subset of the tracks they’d play anyway, with ads dropped and variations on the announcement and news bulletins inserted every few songs.

    I was particularly impressed that they didn’t have to switch to the main station, but had a 90s obit playlist (and presumably for each of the other decade stations).