Monday, May 20, 2019

Where's Al ?

Instagrammer Alan Yentob (close to 350 posts in a year) was at the Photo London event at Dover Street Market at the end of last week.  Does he look miserable cos he's missing out on Cannes?  Or is he there by now ?

Embed from Getty Images

Data day today

The BBC is looking for a Data Manager - Curation, Authoring and Metdata.

"For the new Content Metadata workstream in our Content Production Workflows
department, the first task is a ground-up rethink of our approaches to describing and
classifying all of our content -- journalism, audio, video and digital alike.

"This means asking ourselves some big questions: What metadata do we need to deliver a
personalised BBC? What does the future of tagging at the BBC look like? Importantly, as
we increasingly move into subjective metadata, we also have to ask ourselves policy
questions: what would it mean for us to say some programmes are “scary”? What is the
difference between Fleabag and Mrs Brown’s Boys, when the metadata tells us they are
both “Sitcoms”?"

I can certainly help with that one....

Sunday, May 19, 2019


It took four hours to pass judgement on songs lasting around a hour in last night's Eurovision final. An average of 6.9m viewers stayed with it, giving the BBC a 41.7% share of viewing.

The average was unchanged from last year, but viewing figures were up in Germany, France and Greece.   In The Netherlands, 4.4m followed the favourite home - nearly a quarter of the population.


Congratulations to award-winners at the 2019 British Podcast Awards. The BBC landed six golds, across 20 categories, including the public vote for Brexitcast. 

The BBC's website lists 704 podcasts currently available - some series, some weekly. Anyone else beat that ?

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Mixing it

More and more BBC News outlets are playing with the new Reith fonts. And plenty seem to favour marrying serif versions with sans serif. In general, in the old days of print, mixing the two was thought to be a design failure.  We'll see.

Serendipity ?

Has ruthless BBC Sounds supremo James Purnell unleashed his public service algorithm already ?

My preferred listening slot for 'Fortunately', the idle musings of Fi Glover and Jane Garvey, is 0905 Saturdays (thus cannibalising the R4 audience and avoiding Saturday Live). The last two weekends I have left my preferred device (Sony Experia) alone on the desk. Last week, it auto-reverted to a Radio Northampton gardening phone-in (one live call, the rest made up by the presenter). This week it was 'Farm Gate' on BBC Radio Ulster.

The algorithm has got me where it hurts.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Lie in

We should note the departure of BBC Breakfast Editor, Adam Bullimore, heading south to take charge of BBC Weather. He's looked after the sticky end of a stick for a while. As a long-serving No 2 at Breakfast, he managed the move up to MediaCityUK in 2012, and the launch from Salford, before taking over as full editor in 2013. He's dealt with the departure of Susanna Reid and Bill Turnbull without apparent damage to the audience, and stayed respectably quiet as Piers Morgan continues to trumpet minor successes at GMB.

Adam (Deben High School and Trinity All Saints) started with a news agency before joining Radio Suffolk, and moving up to editor at Look East. He came to London for the start of the News Channel in 1997.

Euro Huw

Dedicated TV presenter Huw Edwards has pulled out of a session at the Hay Festival, on Sunday 26th May at 4pm, in order to be in good shape for the Euro Election results show starting at 10pm on BBC1 that day. Huw was an odd addition to the Hay line-up, promoting just himself and his Instagram account, rather than one of his books about Welsh churches, in an interview with Dylan Jones.

He's been replaced by a disparate panel that will be taking a multi-cultural approach to Europe - Stephen Fry, Robert Macfarlane & Jackie Morris, Sarfraz Manzoor, Marcus Brigstocke, Xinran, and, strangely not on immediate standby, BBC News' Editorial Director, Kamal Ahmed.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Reinvention to stay the same

For all the wailing and moaning that comes from inside Broadcasting House, you'd imagine public service broadcasting shrinking like coal-mining under Mrs Thatcher. Yet both BBC staff numbers and the wage bill have remained largely stable over four and a half years, according to the latest report from the National Audit Office. In the public service broadcasting side of the business, total full-time equivalent staff is down just 241, whilst the wage bill is up a handy £60m. There looks to have been quite a cull in BBC Studios, down close to 1,000 in less than a year, with £10m gone from the wage bill......

Outside London

Not a good quarter for the BBC stations in the Nations and Regions. BBC Radio Cymru is down 2.5%, to 118k. Radio Wales is down 1%, to 360k. Radio Scotland is down 14%, to 785k. Radio Ulster is down 16%, to 490k.

The cumulative total for BBC local radio in England falls 5%, to below 6m.  Come ON, Kenny.

Other people who read this.......