Friday, May 13, 2016

And they're off

Those who are already positioning themselves for the next DG Stakes will interesting to observe, as the BBC seeks to sandpaper the nasty knobbly bits off the White Paper before it is varnished as a Charter.

Lord Hall, 65 last March, has a range of pensions he'd like to spend more time with; some say, before the White Paper, that he was planning to go in the Autumn of 2017. Rona Fairhead has shed real tears at Number 10, and kind old David Cameron says she can be Chairman of the BBC until the end of her current contract in 2018. The likelihood is that she will lead the appointment process.

Internal movers and shakers who fancy the role are James Harding, still failing to find the Future of News or indeed ways of saving money, and James Hardly-Riddled-With-Self-Doubt Purnell. As things stand, neither will get a chance to show off in front of Rona as full members of the new Unitary Board. But Harding is a winner through new commitments to Nations & Regions news and current affairs, underserved audiences, and World Service funding, and might even avoid some cuts if he's cute. Mr Purnell has been reduced from Strategy & Digital to just Strategy, and, so far, hasn't secured a berth that might allow him to demonstrate he has the first clue about programme-making.

The hunt for a Director of Content may turn into the hunt for a DG-elect. Let's hope so.

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