Dear BBC Executives and Non-Executives,
May I recommend two pieces of weekend reading, ahead of the Sunday papers ? Media commentator Neil Midgely offers five reasons why the BBC's News Channel must be saved here, and former BBC output editor Marek Pruszewizc has a commendably short but incisive piece here. All useful stuff as you head to your July Executive meeting, to make a decision on behalf of Director of News James Harding, who can't seem to face it.
When you get to Sunday, you'll probably still find Top Gear Reloaded making news. There's enough around today. The Tony Gallagher team at the Sun is picking away at Chris Evans with extraordinary energy and a scant regard for audience figures; Bronwen Maddox has a pop in today's FT; and the Telegraph has found the Audience Appreciation Index for the first episode.
This is based on daily returns from a panel of viewers and listeners, asked to score shows they've caught. As a group, the panel skews posh and educated on BBC programmes; the highest rating ever, 99 out of 100, was for a Radio 4 programme on autism. So last Sunday, Countryfile got 84, Songs of Praise 82 - and Top Gear 60.
Also on Sunday, in what might be another unpleasant traffic statistic, the producers of Andrew Marr have invited Chris Evans to take part. Will he be reviewing the papers ? If not, does this not look like a PLUG ?