Monday, August 3, 2015

Safe ?

There was some mild amusement in the press that John Whittingdale, our 55-year-old Culture Secretary, enjoyed the music provided by Pete Tong, a 55-year-old disc jockey, at the BBC's Ibiza Prom last week.

John's son enjoyed it too. Radio 1 over the line ?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Head to head

The Mail On Sunday's Political Editor, Simon Walters, mentions, en passant, in today's piece about the political ambitions of George Osborne, that the Chancellor DID meet Rupert Murdoch after the General Election.

"Labour is demanding to know if he met media mogul Rupert Murdoch shortly before his Budget attack on BBC funding. This newspaper understands the two men did meet when Murdoch visited the UK after the Election."

Lunch away from base

New (Age ?) Daddy James Purnell, the BBC's Director of Strategy and Digital, has been enjoying the rather more analogue pleasures of the Shuffle Festival at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park.

The Symbiosis Restaurant offered a three course meal for £15 a head, with some of the ingredients foraged from the park by chef India Hamilton. Here's the blurb that lured Jimmy...

Symbiosis: the relationship between two different organisms living in close physical association, whether mutually beneficial or not. 

Walk deep in the woods of Shuffle Festival and climb the branches to dine at the Symbiosis Treehouse Restaurant.....

In keeping with the theme, we suggest you invite someone who has had some influence on your life, and experience the calming surrounds of treetops, glittering lights, bubbling microalgae and the soft glow of bioluminescence.

So presumably not George Osborne.

Y not ?

Hat tip to reader Mister Neutron.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Working lunches

The BBC has provided the cost of catering for some of its Executive Board meetings, in response to a Freedom of Information enquiry, and following a complaint to the Information Commissioner by the enquirer. He was really after internal hospitality costs in News, and, as usual, Auntie says information about feeding journalists is held for the purposes of journalism.

Scran for the Executive meetings cost as follows...

September 2014 £490.80
October 2014 £416.20
December 2014 £277.30
January 2015 £65.95
February 2015 £15.90
March 2015 £204.00

The BBC urges us to include this quote. “These meetings can be lengthy and substantive, with attendees having to work through lunch so limited food or refreshments are provided. The average cost for these six meetings was £11 per person.”

Or around twice that per head, for the best-catered meeting.

There's no suggestion that the Executive Directors and Non-Executive Directors might bring their own sandwiches. That's, presumably, for lower ranks.

  • Sunday update: A number of working lower rankers have pointed out to me that current limit on BBC expenses for lunch when working more than 5 miles from base, or unable to return to base, is £6.

Don't mentino it

Saucy Sebastian Shakespeare could do with a sub.


Wikipedia says:

Jason Seiken is a pioneering media executive best known for launching The Washington Post on the web and for transforming PBS from a respected but cautious television network into an innovative digital leader. 

A dual citizen of the United States and United Kingdom, he also was the first American to run the newsroom of a major British newspaper, though his tenure as editor-in-chief of the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph was controversial.

This entry has largely been constructed by someone with the user name AdamKaz, since mid-July. AdamKaz's biggest previous contribution to the online encyclopedia was about Gerry Campbell, "an American investor, entrepreneur, executive, and author". He was also described by AdamKaz as "pioneering" until a more senior Wiki person took it out.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Wrap Party

A little of the old glory days returned to Television Centre tonight, with the opening of pop-up street market enterprise Storeys on the top floors of the old multi-storey car park, complete with eight compost toilets.

I can only find one reference to the former occupiers in the various stall menus - a cocktail called BBC Iced Tea - vodka, gin, rum, triple sec, fresh lemon/sugar mix, topped with cranberry juice and lemon. Perfect to stiffen the resolve just before Newsnight....

Old news

You sort of expect a few repeats from long ago on tv channels in July/August. Wednesday saw the BBC News Channel plunder its archives from December 2011, for a Sarah Montague interview with Duff McKagan, a founder member of Guns N' Roses, recorded back in Television Centre. No, I don't know why...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Marked ?

Are the sharp elbows of BBC Chairman Rona Fairhead in play again ?  The BBC Trust has a Head of Communications, Mark Devane, happily tweeting away this morning. But there's now an advert for a Head of Communications on a 15-month contract.

Mark, an aspiring guitarist, (Havant Sixth Form College, Dartington College, University of Kent and University of Central Lancashire) came to the Trust job in 2009, from DERA, with a CV that included the North Devon Journal, the Derby Evening Telegraph and close to five years in the DCMS press team.

3pm update. Elbows may not have been used. Mark has landed a job as Director of Communications for Leeds University. 

Other people who read this.......