The After Midnight slot, which launched in October 2014 and has been presented by Janice Long and Alex Lester, will close at the end of January. Both Long and Lester will continue to broadcast on BBC Radio.
Lewis Carnie, Head of BBC Radio 2, said: “Radio 2 has had to make extremely tough decisions to reduce programming costs in order to make savings in line with the rest of the BBC. As a relatively small percentage of our audience listens to Radio 2 through the night, changes need to be made to ensure that our programming spend reaches the most listeners. I’d like to thank both Janice Long and Alex Lester for their contributions to the programme.”
On Saturday between midnight-03:00, Huey Morgan’s show will broadcast and on Sundays Bob Harris’s show will broadcast in that slot. On Monday to Friday between midnight-02.00 repeats of Sounds of the ‘60s, Sounds of the ‘70s, Sounds of the ‘80s, Pick of the Pops and The Craig Charles House Party will be broadcast.
Between 02:00-05:00 Monday to Friday, and Saturday and Sunday 03:00-06:00, Radio 2 Playlists will feature a range of music from Radio 2’s repertoire of genres. This will include tracks from the past to the present day, covering folk, country, musical theatre, blues, jazz, funk, pop and soul. They will be hosted by a selection of Radio 2’s expert musical curators.
Radio 2 playlists will be refreshed each week and on air will be fronted by a range of familiar and new presenters.
All of the Radio 2 Playlists will also be available to listen on demand via the BBC Music App.
Jeff Smith, head of music, Radio 2 and 6 Music, said: “Radio 2’s audience is increasingly aware of the benefits of streaming music but to date the offering for them has been limited or designed for younger audiences. It’s important that we offer Radio 2 listeners a way into curated, genre and mood orientated playlists but with a distinctive Radio 2 spin. So we are introducing Radio 2 Playlists.
“These are playlists which are uniquely curated by our leading music presenters and music team and that our audience can enjoy on the radio or on demand as Radio 2 Playlists in the BBC Music app on their mobile devices.”