Tuesday, December 20, 2016


All the required approvals for BBC Studios to become a commercial subsidiary have been achieved, says Auntie. The bulk of network tv production goes away from the prying eyes of Freedom of Information enquiries, full senior salary disclosures, published wage structures etc from April 2017.

Mark Linsey, set to be the first CEO, commented (my underlining)....

“BBC Studios has so much to offer creatively, both to broadcasters and the incredible range of talent who work with us. We are responsible for many of the UK’s biggest and boldest shows and the breadth of our portfolio, combined with our BBC editorial values and over 50 years heritage, make us very unique. We have a huge amount of ambition and are excited about continuing our bedrock relationship with the BBC while taking our creative ideas to new audiences.”

There is a (redacted) cash commitment to continued skills training, made by BBC Studios to the Trust.

The Trust also noted other likely tensions...

"While BBC Studios intends to maintain its commitments to the nations and to a broad portfolio, interests can and do diverge. Not all genres provide substantial commercial reward and over time this may lead to a lack of innovation in areas with more limited secondary value. BBC Studios may feel pressure to reduce its national footprint or vary its genre mix or produce content with broader international appeal. As a commercial subsidiary, it is inevitable that conflicts will arise. To navigate them and demonstrate a continued fit with the public purposes, BBC Studios will need to align its incentives structure with its mission to be the main supplier to the BBC. We therefore recommend that this area is kept under regular review by the new BBC Board and that certain key areas, such as production in the nations and regions and specialist factual programming, are monitored as part of the regular reporting arrangements on BBC Studios that the Executive plans to implement."

Again, the Trust notes that BBC Studios will start in debt (odd, considering some of its stock-in-trade), and, though there is a five-year plan and a date for clearing the debts, it's also redacted.

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