Saturday, July 22, 2017


Janet Street-Porter in The Independent 

"Having spent many years as a BBC executive dealing with contracts in front of and behind the camera, I know that pay is largely governed by how loud the talent or their agent screams and complains. It’s an executive’s job to whittle away at expectations, because there’s only one pot of cash in a programme budget, and any overspend will have to come from elsewhere. Truthfully, it’s no different to employing people anywhere, no matter what old bilge you hear about “connecting with the public” and “value for money”.

"The BBC women who are now complaining they are underpaid have my sympathies, but maybe their agents were ineffectual or they didn’t have the guts to threaten to leave. The reason why some BBC radio and television presenters are paid so much is often because their contracts go back decades, and will have included built-in rises every year as well as pension perks. Shedding these long-running deals can be gruesomely expensive."

Many insiders will have been amused by various interviews given by James Purnell, in which he started there was a process for determining talent salaries, which involves many different analyses, the paramount being 'value to the audience'. Perhaps someone can produce the paperwork which moved Steve Wright from £440k in 2006 to £500k+ in 2016/17 ? And Chris Evans from £540k in 2006 to £2.2m+ in 2016/17 ?

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