Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Itchy and scratchy

Sweaty times in the BBC Charter Bunker, where scribes are writing, re-writing and re-writing Lord Hall's latest attempt to outflank Auntie's opponents. In an adjacent chamber, the Chief Dresser to the Executive is ironing the Hair Shirt of Efficiency, traditionally worn when the DG Delivers Value With A Serious Face.

What can we expect ?  Lord Hall led the way in one of his first moves back at the Corporation, announcing a cap on senior management pay-offs at £150k - a cap now applied to all BBC employees. The Conservative manifesto promises to cap public sector management deals at £95,000. Will Tone try to better that ?

Despite his profound wish for a simpler management structure, I'm not sure Tone has something radical up his sleeve. What he DOES like is setting targets - cf more female presenters on local radio breakfast shows. So perhaps there'll be a percentage set to reduce senior management further over, say, two years. This will put pressure on Danny Cohen, Helen Boaden, James Harding and James Purnell to really cut numbers, rather than create a new sub-strate of apparatchiks at Band 11.

And then, perhaps, it's over to Valerie Hughes D'Aeth, now with her feet under the table at HR, for yet another attempt at hitting what the papers like to think are BBC perks - taxis, special allowances for turning up, etc. The hope must be that she's got the spine to do it - and that the unions may understand, finally, that it has to be done to win some of the Charter Renewal arguments.

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