Classic FM has mounted an extraordinary attack on their rivals at BBC Radio 3 after accusing them of copying a number of their ideas to gain listeners.
The spat follows a recent revamp of Classic FM which brought in a new range of listener request slots and phone-ins, moves which it claims were swiftly mirrored by its public sector rival.
Similarities in scheduling saw Radio 3 introduce an Essential Classics morning slot, mirroring Classic FM’s hall of Fame, whilst listeners have complained of an increased reliance on the audience to call, text, or tweet their views.
Global radio Network, owners of the Classic FM brand, claim that this amounts to a blatant rip-off of their own ideas with their chief executive Stephen Miron claiming: “It's now possible to listen to Radio 3 between 6:30am and 4:30pm and hear only one hour that's not presented by a former Classic FM presenter.
“Radio 3 has introduced listener requests on the phone every day - copying the format pioneered by Classic FM in classical music radio in the UK. 'If you look at what they're doing, it's what we've been doing for years.
“The BBC's whole remit is to provide distinct content in all they do, but it is increasingly replicating what is already catered for. And you can see why, because we have a much larger listenership.
“Radio 3 has aggressively pursued Classic FM and it uses its other platforms to cross-promote the station. They are absolutely trying to take our listeners.”
Radio 3 has seen its audience share decline 15.8% in the past year to 1.9m listeners whilst Classic FM draws 5.48m listeners.