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BBC Three and Radio 1 'could merge to form new youth division'

BBC Three could be merged with Radio 1 to create a new 'youth' division, it has been claimed.

According to the Radio Times, "serious consideration" is being given to merging BBC Three, the TV channel moving online-only on 16 February, and other BBC platforms including Radio 1 to create a new division under the auspices of a single controller.

Quoting unnamed corporation sources, the magazine says the move is merely at the "ideas stage" and is only likely to be implemented if BBC Three fails to find "sufficient traction" online.

But it claims that some senior figures believe that bringing together the two stations under a single controller would make "perfect sense" because they cater for much the same audience of 16-34 year olds.

BBC Three controller Damian Kavanagh told the magazine he was unaware of any plan but said "there are a lot of conversations going on".

Covering the rumours itself, the BBC quoted a spokesperson as saying: "Everyone knows we are looking at the BBC's structure to make sure we are fit for the digital age.

"There has already been a lot of speculation about our future shape and there will no doubt be plenty more, but when we've got something to announce we'll do so."

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