Monday, June 12, 2017

The Dave Channel

It is one of the quietest starts to a BBC Chairman's tenure that anyone can remember. Sir David Clementi was appointed six months ago, and hasn't yet given a major interview. Previous incumbents quite liked sessions with Andrew Marr, and were chased by the broadsheets for profiles and features.

Both Clementi and Lord Hall have managed to keep their heads down during the election campaign; the only high-profile public complaint from the parties came from Fiona Hill about audience balance - so there's no rush on answering that one.

But is anything going on at Broadcasting House ? We've had no minutes from the new Board (indeed no minutes from any BBC meeting) since February. Proximity talks are underway on the new BBC "Operating Licences" which Ofcom are committed to delivering by Q3 this year, and, if commonsense prevails at Riverside House, they'll be pretty light touch - less prescriptive than those confected by the BBC Trust.

The BBC Annual Report will be going to the printers shortly - but Sir David will be able to handle any uncomfortable questions by talking about transition. He is in the programme for a speech at the Royal Television Society's Cambridge convention in September, but there's no early guide as to his chosen topic.

Maybe he's made a strategic decision to keep a low profile, and let the BBC's programmes do the talking. That would be both sensible and very welcome.

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