Thursday, November 27, 2014

Value judgement

I'm sure it was a triumph. Lord Hall and Anne Bulford of the BBC paraded their hair shirts in front of a lunchtime seminar today at the Reform think tank (self-defined as independent, others think differently, I merely note its June 2014 paper saying the NHS could learn lessons from Tesco, which with hindsight.....).

The hashtag for the event, looking at the BBC's record on efficiencies (nee cuts) was #moreforless, but it's hardly caused a Twitterstorm.

The headlines they want you to take away: more than 90% of income is now spent on content, and there's a big funding hole coming in 2016/7.  In the full report we learn that, taking the inflation hit of the current fixed licence fee and adding new cash obligations like broadband roll out, S4C, World Service, Auntie estimates she'll be worse off by 26% in 2016/17 compared with 2011/12. Note: 2016 falls after the General Election; the BBC may then also have to absorb reduced income post-decriminalisation of the licence-fee.

Staying with the gloomy side, the proportion of cuts that come from "scope", i.e, things you and me enjoy, increases through 2015 and 2016. In support, HR and Technology (both heavy-metal and computer-based) are heading for big cuts.

For a communication organisation, there's a couple of 0/10 infographics. This would make a nice IKEA rug.

And this, headed "Current Status of Efficiency", really records what Ms Bulford has checked and what she has not, rather than indicating, through bigger columns of light blue, which divisions are basket cases.

Elsewhere I was tickled to note that BBC Northern Ireland has benchmarked its content spend against BBC Scotland and BBC Wales, showing "BBCNI to be operating at the lower end of the Tariff ranges".  Triumph.

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