Tuesday, February 14, 2017


The Radio 2 schedule reminds us that it's half-term - women-in-waiting Nicki Chapman, Sara Cox, Fearne Cotton and Vanessa Feltz at the microphone from 0500 to 1400 - and that many senior BBC executives are on the piste; some will have headed straight from the BAFTAs to the airport.

New chairman Sir David Clementi is in and out of Broadcasting House, having short spells in the BBC IPCRESS induction machine, but the management floors are not densely packed. And there is a big list of THINGS THAT NEED TO BE SORTED.  Here's mine.

Songs of Praise: The new world of all-out competition for BBC TV output saw A Question of Sport put out to tender, considered carefully, and given back to BBC Studios. Holby City, Horizon and Songs of Praise are also up for grabs. The future of the hymn show will be a test for new tv religion commissioner Fatima Sularia, presumably with strategic support from minder-of-religion-and-ethics James Purnell. If the BBC loses out, there'll be quite a few free desks at MediaCityUK and a moderate-hole in the BBC's commitment to putting jobs outside the M25.

The Nations: Lord Hall will have to go on tour shortly and face Welsh and Scottish committees eager for more spending on their patch - and particularly for better news coverage. They can only be disappointed. Will James Harding be at the DG's side this time ?

Diversity: BBC functionaries are delaying on Freedom of Information enquiries looking for progress on diversity promises. If the BBC can get to the new financial year, the figures will look terrific, as the World Service hires hundreds of staff working in African and Asian languages. But strip them out, and targets are being missed.

Non-executives: Less than eight weeks to the new governance arrangements. Can Lord Hall, Sir David and Karen Bradley convince us that their choices of side-kicks have a bit of spark about them ?

Executives: Charlotte Moore or James Purnell for a seat at the new top table ?

All to be sorted after a few blue runs and a dribble or two of gluhwein/vin chaud.

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