Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Corporal punishment

Post 2 on the DCMS Select Committee yesterday...and BBC finance boss Anne Bulford put in a poised performance, rather relaxed despite the financial constraints looming in the next Charter period.

Given that she's charged with taking a further 20% out of a business that's just had 25% taken out, she might have made it look a little more difficult. Interestingly, she faced no questions about BBC Studios. If this progresses, some 2,000 tv production staff will transfer to a wholly-owned subsidiary (with no requirement to publish headcount data). Space will be freed up in existing buildings, possibly leading to further property disposals.  More network radio will be made by indies, with smaller, but real reductions in directly-employed BBC staff.  More online content will be made by indies. And, we're told, these moves will drive both creative and financial competition. Job done ?

  • En passant, BBC Trustee Richard Ayre clearly impressed Committee chair Jesse Norman with his analysis of the regulatory and governance issues that need to be addressed. His analogy on the licence-fee impositions of 2010 and 2015 also deserves noting, perhaps by Ms Bulford - 2015 was better only in the sense of "getting six of the best the first time, and only three the next - it still hurts".  

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