Westminster Reference Library
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For almost a hundred years now, London’s skies have crackled and buzzed with transmissions. For decades people around the world have tuned into programs broadcast here to be entertained, informed – and perhaps dis-informed. But everything is changing. Is the capital now the frontier for a battle of the broadcasters? The BBC’s Adam Cumiskey and London Real’s Brian Rose square up.

A soundtrack for the city will be provided by The Clerkenwell Kid.
Hendricks Gin will be on hand to adjust your set.

The British Broadcasting Corporation is a ‘UK-based international public service broadcaster headquartered at Broadcasting House in London’ says Wikipedia with a colossal dose of understatement. It’s the BBC for f***ks sake (Ed.)

Known and, to varying degrees, respected throughout the world, it is one of the institutions that still give London global clout.

Adam Cumiskey, an editor of BBC Radio 4′s flagship Today program comes to the Salon to talk about what it’s like to work within this historical, cultural colossus. How has the BBC shaped and been shaped by London and what is life like within its shiny new citadel in Regent Street? Adam will provide a little history, some glimpses into the corporation’s future and discuss whether it feels threatened by a new generation of digital rivals as it approaches its 100th year.

London Real is one of the most successful of the new generation of alt. broadcasters using the internet as their medium. Based adjacent to Shoreditch’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’, it declares (probably with its virtual tongue in its digital cheek) that ‘its mission is to put the BBC out of business’. Founded and hosted by Brian Rose, it debuted in October 2011, has since published over 135 episodes, racked up over 3 million YouTube views and has had over 25 million downloads on iTunes. Impressive stats indeed. 

Brian will join us to discuss the broadcast power of the internet and whether London Real and its growing family of independent, global – local, high tech-low budget counterparts really can challenge the power of the giant broadcast behemoths.

Adam Cumiskey has worked as an editor on Radio 4′s Today program for 4 years. He joined the BBC in 2002, and has worked in Mexico, Kenya, South Africa, the US and Liberia as well as field producing across the UK. At Today, Adam is currently running the planning operation ensuring the programme commissions the best interviews and reports from the UK and around the world.

Brian Rose moved from America to the UK twelve years ago. After ‘watching too many episodes of the Joe Rogan Experience’, he quit his job as a city trader and founded London Real. Originally from California, Brian studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and became CFO of a dot com startup in New York City.