Monday, March 30, 2015


The joy of an increased salary for new BBC World Service boss Fran Unsworth will be dulled by the news of an NAO team coming in to look at the books in 2015. We're almost up to the first year of operation under licence-fee funding, and tracking costs (and income) across BBC News and Worldwide doesn't look any simpler than it was under direct FCO subsidy.

She'll have to square an odd circle, where James Harding makes his News "efficiencies" by a redundancy programme that seems to have attracted a large number of hacks with skills and experience in foreign news this year (and more to come as Newsgathering interviews World Affairs correspondents for their own jobs) against promises made from Patten and Thompson that the BBC would invest more than Government was prepared to supply.

The NAO is also having a look at the management of projects in general. This may scoop up Project Aurora, Project Smart and the News computer deal. Happy days.

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