R4 Feedback's resident grouch Roger Bolton has gone into print on the problem posed by the BBC sacking the vast majority of its Religion and Ethics department in Salford (28 March) and Ofcom demanding more religious output on BBC tv (29 March).
Writing in the Church Times, Roger reports that BBC Studios executive Lisa Opie told staff at the BBC's MediaCity production offices on Monday “We will no longer have a permanent Religion and Ethics department in Salford....we have decided to close most of the remaining staff roles in the department ”. (It seems a handful of radio producers are not big enough to be called a department)
Mr Bolton cheekily accuses the man atop the BBC's religious strategy, James Purnell, of not having a strategy. "The decision came just as he was starting to gather evidence, and telling the great and the good how committed the BBC was to this vital area of broadcasting.
"ANY sensible organisation would conduct a review first, decide what its broadcasting ambitions were, decide how much expertise and in-house production it needed, and then take a decision about its in-house department. Not so the dysfunctional BBC."