Tuesday, December 23, 2014


With expensive management support to the BBC Executive at record levels - Company Secretary Phil Harrold; Clare Sumner, Chief of Staff, DG's Office; and Matthew Godfrey, Head of Executive Business - the minutes of board meetings have become ever less helpful.  Today, we have minutes from October and November, and I can only highlight and annotate topics which may come back to bite in the future.


5. Distinctiveness in TV Summary: The Board discussed the Executive’s response to BBC Trust queries about distinctiveness in BBC television. (Rude letter follows ?)

6. Sports Rights Summary: The Board approved a mandated budget to bid for sports rights. (Is this where "sharing" Wimbledon comes from ?)

7. Music Radio Summary: A number of minor service licence changes to music radio stations were discussed by the Board. (Let us decide what's minor, please)


3. Production Strategy Summary: The Board discussed the reasons for making changes to the BBC’s supply strategy. It was decided that more detailed options would be discussed at a future meeting of the Board. (Too much or too little stock in hand ? Certainly some long-term Saturday night gaps, and maybe something financially amusing to be done with Worldwide owning more stuff)

5. Studios and Post Production Strategic Options Summary: the Board approved the Studios and Post Production Services division of S&PP, including drama operations, remaining as a separate commercial subsidiary.  (Presumably there was an option to bring it back to the mothership - so another way round its poor financial performance must have been found)

7. First Look Budget Summary: the first-look budget for the next financial year (15/16) and future financial projections were noted by the Board.  (16/17 is the problem - the final year under the Charter, when the BBC has to get its capital borrowing off the books, unless the DCMS bends the rules...)

8. Headcount & Restructuring Costs Summary: the Board discussed the report into the costs of restructuring and redundancy that had been requested by the BBC Trust. (No easy answers here - is this a request from Rona ?)

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