Monday, April 10, 2017


BBC Studios has now sailed off into a future free from pesky Freedom of Information requests. We know Director Mark Linsey's left with 1600 staff  "on a mix of continuing and fixed contracts", but we can no longer enquire about the exact balance, as BBC commercial subsidiaries are not required by law to answer under Freedom of Information legislation. We can guess that, over the years, fixed-term contracts will eventually exceed continuing.

We know this year's salaries for executives Mark Linsey, Nick Betts, Roger Leatham, Lisa Opie and Anna Mallett, but next year, probably only two of those will be disclosed. Next, BBC Studios can pay as many people as it likes over £150k, and we'll never know.

We know the basic structure of the teams - and it's entertaining to note there's no departmental head with "Arts" in their title, nor "Religion".

We know they had a launch party at the Design Museum at the end of last week, but we can no longer chivvy away to find out how much it all cost.

These may all be steps in a good direction. What's missing is important detail on the Board that should be in place to supervise BBC Studios - which BBC Executives will be holding the operation up to scrutiny, if the public's not allowed to hold their feet to the fire through FOI ?  (And by the way, while you're on, can someone tell us if the composition of the BBC Worldwide Board has changed, to reflect the new non-executives brought in by Sir David Clementi ? And give us some idea how Audience Councils, a useful construction of the BBC Trust, are to be replaced ?)

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