Thursday, December 3, 2015

Partial withdrawal

BBC pensioner and presenter Alan Yentob, 68, says he will quit as the BBC's Creative Director at the end of this year.

 "The BBC is going through particularly challenging times and I have come to believe that the speculation about Kids Company and the media coverage revolving around my role is proving a serious distraction.

 "So I have spoken to Tony Hall and told him that I think it best that I step down from my senior management role as creative director at the end of this year and focus on programme-making and TV production - including of course the Imagine series.

 "I love the BBC and will continue to do everything I can to ensure that it thrives and fulfils the great expectations we all have of it."

BBC DG Lord Hall said..

"For the record, BBC News considered whether Alan Yentob had influenced the BBC's journalism on the reporting of Kids Company. They concluded that he did not. Despite that, I understand his reasons for stepping down as creative director. 

"He has been thinking about this carefully for some time and we have discussed it privately on a number of occasions. 

"I am pleased that Alan will be continuing his brilliant work as a programme maker at the BBC in the future."

As with many things Yentob, there are loose ends here. Does he remain as "Editor" of Imagine ? It's possible to see his presenter role as freelance, but more difficult to imagine a freelance editor, particularly one who chooses the presenter, and presumably agrees the presenter's fee. And when he "focusses on programme-making", does he do so as an independent, or part of BBC Arts ? Who will be his line manager, judging his performance and endorsing his remuneration ? Does he keep his personalised office at Broadcasting House, or take his chance with those hanging around the Sixth Floor in search of commissions ? Does he keep a PA and ticket fixer ? Will he have a role in BBC Films ?  If so, why ?

And those Pension arrangements - since 2012, Alan may have been drawing down a six-figure sum each year from the Old Benefits 'flexible payment' scheme. Will we be told if he's accrued more pension rights in the past 3 years - and are they at an end in the New Year ?

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