a) a bad thing - diluting an already patchy line-up and giving further air-time to a guy who, whatever he may arguably have done for UK Hip-Hop in the past, is frankly a bit of an embarassment or
b) a good thing (drawing more listeners to 1Xtra)
As to the other Hip-Hop "winners" in the latest shake-up, I've got no argument with MistaJam per se - although his statement that "[his show] will also be a guide to everything that's hot in the 1Xtra universe: music, gadgets, film, TV, club nights, clothes!" doesn't exactly fill me with confidence that he'll be putting the music first.
Sarah Love should be pretty dope as well I guess, don't know much about her.
The real shame though is to lose Rodney P and Skitz off the network. If I'm honest I was too busy to tune in to "Original Fever" that often, even on the online reload - and hence must bear some of the blame assuming that they're being canned at least in part due to poor ratings. The fact is though, by having in the form of P a genuine UK rap legend with deep links within the scene presenting a regular show, 1Xtra retained some serious credibility and allowed some proper rawness to slip in alongside the fairly bland day-time shows such as Ace & Vis.
DMC turntablist Blakey is another casualty and will be missed - I only heard his show once (when he had the whole Foreign Beggars crew on - absolutely mental!) but would definitely like to have heard more of the same.
This kind of thing has of course occurred before - Vokal , who forwarded me the link for the press release, was reminiscing on when Xcalibah's 1Xtra show was pulled and I myself have clear memories of discovering that Prime Cuts' monthly slot on Westwood's show had been canceled way back in 2001.
Still though, Rodney Fucking P....