Thursday, December 3, 2015

The McYentob Question

The Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop is having none of little Jimmy Purnell's argument that the BBC currently gives Scottish licence-payers a fair deal. The BBC Director of Strategy and Digital and his accountants recently calculated that the BBC spends £20 a head more in Scotland than it does in England.

Ms Hyslop yesterday dismissed the transmitter and distribution costs that boost Purnell's figures, and said by simply making sure production money allocated to Scotland was really spent in Scotland, there would be a boost to the economy. With a matter of an additional £100m, there could be an additional radio channel, an additional tv channel and a Scottish Six on BBC1.

I hereby dub this the McYentob question. When, for example, the recent edition of Imagine on Sir Antony Gormley was billed as a "BBC Scotland Arts Production", what proportion of Al's editing and presenting fee counts as Scottish spend ?  What proportion of rights sales goes back to Pacific Quay, and what to Notting Hill ?

  • The timing of last night's events at Westminster demonstrated some of the problems facing BBC News. Television had at least three live positions outside Parliament - Huw Edwards with Laura Kuenssberg on BBC1, Emily Maitlis with Allegra Stratton on BBC2, and Ben Brown with Vicki Young on BBC News - all with lights, producers, fixers, minders etc. No correspondent instantly available for Ritula Shah to analyse the vote on Radio 4; I presume Jon Pienaar was there for 5Live. In the years ahead, there'll also be positions for the BBC Scotland Westminster correspondent, the BBC Wales Westminster correspondent, etc etc. Or someone will see sense and bring services together for events like this. 

1 comment:

  1. To be fair, Ritula was joined by Carolyn Quinn in central lobby after the vote, plus 2 MPs, so they didn't do too badly.


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