Monday, June 15, 2015

Charter chunter 1

I enjoyed Katherine Rushton's writings on the meeja when she was with The Telegraph. Her joint by-line story into today's Mail, where she is now Meeja and Technology Editor, is not her finest - indeed, it seems she may have been subsumed into the Dacre Team of BBC Attack Hacks.

The headline says "Revealed: BBC spends less than half of its cash on programmes." Katherine has re-read the 2013/4 annual report and concluded that "Just £2.4billion of its £5.1billion annual budget went on ‘public service content’".

This detailed investigation seems to be based on setting the top two lines of this chart against total income. Katherine says she put her claims to the BBC before publication. The BBC says she's got her sums wrong.

Does Katherine imagine the BBC could make programmes with no buildings ?  With no technology ? With no spend on transmission ?  Would she prefer that the Government took no money from the licence fee to fund digital switchover, broadband, local tv news services and S4C ?

In the bigger total of income, she adds licence fee income of £3.7bn to commercial income of £1.1bn - again, perhaps BBC commercial income should come from people working for free in their own tents.

If I had time, I'd assess the Daily Mail Group's accounts in the same way. And Katherine's salary. But she's off on holiday to Mexico to chill out.

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