Tuesday, February 23, 2016


The Scottish Daily Mail leads with an assertion from BBC insiders that a Scottish Six is imminent. It says an annual budget of £5m has been set aside to deliver an hour of news at 6pm on BBC1 Scotland produced and presented from Pacific Quay. The Mail talks of 60 'new' staff; I think that figure might represent some new jobs on top of the existing Reporting Scotland team.

One presumes Anne Bulford has pencilled in a further £10m into budget planning, when Wales and Northern Ireland hit the 'me too' button. Pleas from the Northern Powerhouse, Spurned Birmingham, and Mebyon Kernow can't be far behind. Agents with news presenters on their books will be updating their clients' various national and regional connections. In five years' time, the Mail will be complaining about the money being spent presenting the same news in slightly varying accents.

Will Lord Hall front this concession ? He has uncomfortable memories of 1998, when John Birt sent a younger Tone, Will Wyatt, Mark Byford and Michael Stevenson to face down the Scottish Broadcasting Council, champing then for a Scottish Six. Tone was presented with a long list of Scottish foot faults on both the 6pm and 9pm bulletins. My guess is the announcement this time will come from Director of News James Harding and Controller Scotland Ken MacQuarrie.

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