Sunday, July 5, 2015

Newspaper lobby 5 BBC 0

The Chancellor, without much prodding, revealed to Andrew Marr that he couldn't see why the BBC website was doing "features and food" and accused the Corporation of being "imperial" in its ambition; with printed papers moving increasingly online the BBC seemed to want to be a national newspaper as well as a national broadcaster.

It developed from a conversation in which he took credit for taking around £500m out of the BBC in the last licence fee settlement, struck with Mark Thompson, and, in his view, nothing bad had followed. "They always say the juiciest fruit is at risk", he said, when Marr said another £500m could see the closure of Radio 2, Radio 5Live or a complete tv channel. 

In the last annual report, the BBC's Online services are costed at £177m a year. It's more or less impossible to breakdown how much of that supports iPlayer activity that the Chancellor wants Auntie to charge for -  moving pictures and audio; and how much supports new, specially-commissioned written word stuff. 

The recipes are a mix - some seem specially designed, others flow from existing programmes, which seems fair enough. Either way, there doesn't seem to be much juicy fruit in savings to be had, compared with Osborne's depredations. 

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