Monday, September 21, 2015

Away with the birds

The Sun offers a Monday-morning Beeb bash, freed from the Murdoch paywall under new editor Tony Gallagher, for its investment in The Space - "an £8million licence fee-funded website promoting obscure digital art projects." The story is credited as "an exclusive" by Political Editor Tom Newton-Dunn. (3.30pm update: now jointly credited to BBC-irritator-in-chief Miles Goslett).

It notes that BBC Creative Director, Alan Yentob was part of the launch, in November 2011, stepping down in March this year. Alongside him was Auntie's main financial partner in the scheme, Alan Davey, representing the Arts Council England. Mr Davey now leads BBC Radio 3, and oversees the Proms.

This year, The Space is supposed to move into the space in the BBC's Mailbox offices in Birmingham. It's now an independent Community Interest Company, with a board of five. It's chaired by Fiona Allen, incoming boss of the Birmingham Hippodrome. The BBC is represented by Jonathan Sidney Claypole-Smith, better known as Director of Arts, Jonty, and Ms Lisa Opie, cafe owner and BBC Controller of Business, Knowledge and Daytime.

The current interim director of The Space is serial arts non-executive Anthony Lilley.

It's hard to check web stats, but SimilarWeb estimates The Space had 20,000 desktop visits last month, 42% from the UK, with most referred by, The Guardian and artsjobs. My blog had around 8k. The Arts Council, by SimilarWeb, is estimated at 70k, the National Gallery at 220k and the Tate at 630k, over the same period.

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