Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Spread out

ITV have taken a leaf out of the BBC's W1A manual and will be doing 'more for less' on weekday mornings from the New Year. 

Here's the freshly-extruded schedule from 6th January, to cover the Jeremy Kyle Gap. Piers Morgan has probably contracted to produce longer outbursts of angry, patronising 'plain-speaking'. 

6am Good Morning Britain
9am Lorraine
10am This Morning
12.30pm Loose Women


Congratulations to Roula Khalaf, next editor of the FT. Brought up in war-torn Lebanon, then to Syracuse University (where she met partner-to-be Assaad) and Columbia). She's pretty certain a feature she wrote for Forbes Magazine inspired The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Assaad blogs as Angrycleanenergyguy. Son Marek, at Columbia, is a vinyl 12" entrepreneur.


Broadcasters are going to have to work more cleverly and forensically on election funding pledges. At the 2017 General Election, the Tories revealed their manifesto just three weeks before polling day; that was two days after Labour.

Theresa May's launch was a mess, and now there's a slow bicycle race, with an expectation that Dominic Cummings is going much later - may be as little as two weeks before December 12.  So maybe those with ambitions to hold ministerial portfolios can be held to account on their contributions to the manifesto, which surely must now be agreed and on the way to the printers. 

Bigger, definitely. Better ?

The developers of MediaCityUK have engaged Wayne Hemingway and others to develop 'placemaking' ideas for the next phase of expansion. The plans include a doubling of the footprint over the next ten years.

You can contribute to their survey here. 

Insecure decision

News from the employment tribunals: A security officer based at BBC New Broadcasting House has won his unfair dismissal claim against his employer, Interserve.

BECTU member Oluwagbemi Ogundolie, had worked for Interserve for 12 years when he was dismissed for failing to report an incident. He was covering for a colleague at the front desk, when an unauthorised individual was escorted out of the building by a member of staff.

Mr Ogundolie assumed that the incident would be reported by one of his colleagues for whom this was their main role and so did not report it himself.  It transpired that it had been reported but management had not raised this higher up the chain. During the investigation process, Mr Ogundolie apologised and explained that he would handle things differently should such a situation arise again. Despite this, Interserve took the decision to dismiss him for gross misconduct.

The tribunal found the sacking unfair; the allegation was minor and that there was no requirement for every Security Officer to report the breach. The judge found that Mr Ogundolie believed that a colleague would report this and his only failure was to check that this had been done. 

Mr Ogundolie:“I am extremely happy that the tribunal found that the decision to dismiss me was unfair.  I would not have been able to challenge this without the support of my trade union.”

Monday, November 11, 2019

How tv works

At the Cenotaph on Sunday, Boris Johnson left his black overcoat unbuttoned, and placed his red and black wreath the wrong way up. In 2016, he wore just a dark suit; his hair was shorter and combed, and he laid a green wreath the right way up. 

Comic CEO

Alex Reid is standing down as a Trustee of Comic Relief, in order to be its new Chief Executive.

Ms Reid (St Helens School Northwood and BA Politics, Nottingham University) is currently working for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, after previous PR roles with Burson Marsteller and Weber Shandwick. She'll get £180k a year from next March, £15k up on the previous incumbent, after the charity "engaged a specialist external adviser to ensure staff salaries are benchmarked fairly". 

Easy listening

How do you take your mind off the rigours of an employment tribunal ? Equal pay claimant Samira Ahmed says she listened to early Beatles' LPs on the journey to and from court, via Waterloo Station. She spent two days in the witness stand, and wasn't allowed to talk to anyone about the case over night; listening choice - A Hard Day's Night.

The richer get richer

A reminder of the extraordinary talents of Jeremy Vine (which may be of interest to the recent Employment Tribunal now considering the Samira Ahmed equal pay claim against the BBC).

Jeremy is to host a Christmas special on ITV, called Quizmaster, in which former winners of The Chase, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Mastermind, University Challenge and Fifteen To One will will bid to be recognised as Britain's best quizzer.


The BBC Big Cheese Monday Morning phone-round will be dismayed by a weekend editorial in the FT. Editor Lionel Barber, a DG-manqué, is normally a staunch defender. But this piece talks about giving ground on the licence-fee in the next set of negotiations with the Government.

"There should be broad agreement that for core public service functions such as news and current affairs it is essential to preserve the BBC’s universality. Beyond these functions it will be necessary to look at other funding sources."

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