Thursday, February 25, 2016

Bits and bobs

Odd extracts from the Dame Janet Smith Review that have appealed to me so far (still reading...)

One witness, who for good reason has asked to remain anonymous, told me that, as a personal assistant, she became aware some years ago that her boss (who is dead) was falsifying his expenses and in no small
way. She was told that her boss was too senior to be challenged.

Robin Smith, a researcher and assistant floor manager on Jim’ll Fix It
between 1987 and 1989, described how he was interviewed for
possible promotion by two senior managers, both lying on sofas
with their shoes and socks off, watching the television.

Alan Hart joined BBC Television in 1959 and later became
Controller of BBC One. He said that, in the 1960s, radio and
television were “two entirely different things”. He remembers
going as a guest to a radio quiz show and being greeted with
the words “Ah, Mr Hart, welcome to the senior service”.

It seems to have been recognised that the poverty of lateral
communication within the BBC gave rise to management and
cultural problems. When Mr Dyke came to the BBC as
Director-General in 2000, he found that management and staff
did not get on well; there was a perception among the staff that
they did well in spite of management rather than because of it.
One of his first and main initiatives was called “One BBC” which
was an attempt to make the BBC pull together and – as Mr
Dyke put it – “to stop the people in Newsnight thinking the
people in Panorama were the enemy and vice versa”.managerial success.

Mr [Mark] Thompson felt that: “people ... certainly historically, were promoted to quite senior positions because of past creative success rather than any demonstrated management aptitude, and, again, historically often with very little management training”.

I have concluded that, during the Savile years, the culture in the
BBC and the BBC’s management style did not encourage the
reporting of complaints or concerns. It was particularly difficult
to make a complaint about a member of the Talent. But it was
difficult even to complain about the conduct of a fellow member
of staff. Given the hierarchical structure, the impracticability of
complaining to anyone other than a line manager and the
weakness of the Personnel Department, the only option for a
victim of inappropriate behaviour during the Savile years was to
put up with it or leave. By and large, they chose to stay
because, in many respects, the BBC was a wonderful place to be.

1 comment:

  1. From The Times: Top of the Strops


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