Tuesday, March 28, 2017


The broadcast union BECTU says, in the wake of losing the Songs of Praise contract to a pair of indies, the BBC's Religion and Ethics department is now shedding five posts 'not directly linked to Songs of Praise'.

That will leave a total of just four people tasked with the internal production of other output across the BBC - my guess is that they're minding Thought for The Day, Sunday and religious services on Radio 4.. A cynic might say that if the BBC needs to close 55% of a department down in one go, either there was some cross-subsidy going on (in which case, no wonder the contract went to indies) or tough-guy James Purnell, onlie-begetter of Compete or Compare and Current Custodian of R & E, is playing hardball on the next stage of cuts.

A four-person radio team might find it hard to compete credibly for the Songs of Praise contract when it comes up again in 2020....

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