Thursday, September 24, 2020

Long bout

 A chunky two and a half hours has been set aside by the Culture Select Committee for their first grilling of new BBC DG Tim Davie, next Tuesday morning starting at 10am. Also available on the big screen will be Sir David Clementi, the lame duck Chairman, interim COO Glyn Isherwood, and Over 75s licence enforcer Clare Sumner. 

Tim Davie was Director of Marketing and Communications, when Committee Chair Julian Knight last worked for the BBC, as a personal finance reporter, whilst still finding time to write seminal works such as "Retiring Wealthy for Dummies". 

A handy dozen

There are a number of elevations of HR staff to the latest list of Senior Staff at the BBC, without stating their salary bands.  But, in all, it seems the function is thriving - no fewer than 12 on the list, all with, presumably, salaries above £150k p.a.. A minimum of £1.8m by my crude maths. 


Digital media strategist Nigel Walley offers some interesting alternative thoughts about the future direction of BBC technology in a blog post. 

In summary, he says it's time to reconsider the dominant position of iPlayer in the BBC's thinking, and look for innovation in broadcast delivery as well as IP delivery. He wants more freedom for Freeview and Freesat, and suggests the BBC moves down a step from iPlayer to allow channel brands a chance to develop in the iP world. Otherwise, he warns, we'll surrender 'tv' delivery to Amazon and Google.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Being talked at

We're told that 9.14m watched the Prime Minister on BBC1 at 8pm yesterday, with 820k watching on the News Channel. By my maths, that gives us 40k watching on BBC Scotland, while Nicola Sturgeon was on BBC1 Scotland. 

Boris helped EastEnders to a rating above 4.5m for the first time since production resumed, and helped the Matt Lucas Bake Off season launch with an average of 6.9m viewers. 

Strategic imperatives

What do you need to make more money at BBC Studios ?  More Vice Presidents. 

There's to be a new Vice President Partnership Marketing and Insights [punctuated thus in job ad] based in New York.

"With dual capabilities in insights and marketing, you will be responsible for both aligning insight to themes that match the strategic imperative of our most valuable customers as well as developing deep relationships with their marketing counterparts to ensure marketing solutions add value to both their business and our brand."

And they need a new Vice President, Scripted Sales and Co-Productions, based in Los Angeles.

Taking a stab

From today's Times (paywalled) "The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies did not model the effect of a 10pm curfew, with key members saying that there was no evidence that it would be effective. Nor was the behavioural science sub-group consulted about how people would react to early closing."

As we thought, they're making this up inside No 10.  Five male Oxford graduates - Johnson, Gove, Hancock, Raab and Sunak - demonstrate their understanding of the UK's current social culture. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Sounds around the world

Readers around the world - as we predicted: "At some point in the near future, the iPlayer Radio app will stop working, and listeners will need to get the BBC Sounds app to continue listening." 

More details here.

Four nations

Some tv jostling going on. Boris will be on BBC1, probably for half an hour, from 8pm. Yet Nicola Sturgeon says she'll be 'on BBC' at the same time. BBC1 Scotland ?  The popular BBC Scotland ? And what will the Welsh do ?

Not transported

Sorry to bang on about the BBC Ten O'Clock News, but I'm sure archivists will be surprised to find that last night's edition failed to mark the demise, after 25 years, of the rail franchise system. There was room for not one but two vox pops - one in Bolton, another in pubs around Winchester, and a long plea for emergency funding for professional sport fronted by Dan Roan, another moving piece about victims of the Manchester bombing, and another US Election preview. 

There were 1.8 billion rail journeys in the UK in the most recent full year, a figure that has doubled in twenty years. 


Should Tim Davie be unable to secure Andrew Neil for a return to BBC political programming, a similarly robust and forensic interviewer is emerging from within. Mishal Husain, with two law degrees, took on Michael Gove, a degree in English, President of the Oxford Union, and self-taught sophist, this morning on Today, and won clearly on points. 

Mishal has a range of punches, and an even tone, but can quietly dominate the ring. Bet you won't hear Husain v Johnson anywhere very soon.  

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