Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Concrete Music

And so, as Bob Shennan moves into the wide open spaces of the Corporate Centre at the BBC, the "and Music" bit of his former title,"Director of Radio and Music" lies dangling.

Or does it ? James Purnell, who does his veg prepping to 6Music, sets out his stall for full custody of the title this morning....

Recognition ?

Some entertaining shortlisting at the 2019 HR Excellence Awards, due for presentation in June.

The best HR Team nominations include the Dorchester Collection. (The awards are being held at The Hilton). Here's the disclaimer you get now on the Dorchester website.

The BBC has been nominated in the Diversity and Includion category, and in Leading Transformation.

Monday, April 22, 2019

All over the place

Are tv news rotas more stretched at Easter than Christmas ?  Former Sky News host Martin Stanford has turned up on the BBC News channel; there've also been sightings of Nick Owen, 72. And former BBC News 24 original Chris Eakin was on BBC Breakfast reviewing the newspapers.

And yet - Big Huw turned up on BBC1 to host the bulletins on Easter Sunday....

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Thinking time

Former BBC executive Roger Mosey gets the cover story in Rupert Murdoch's Sunday Times magazine for "Crisis at the BBC", spread over five pages but thinned with photographs.

Mr Mosey left the BBC in 2013. BBC1's share of the audience in 2013 was 21%; in 2018 it was 21.3%. BBC2 stood at 5.7% in 2013; in 2018 it was 5.8%. Weekly reach for all BBC Radio in December 2013 was 68%; in December last year it was 62%.

At the moment, BBC iPlayer stacks up some 1,500 programmes - constrained by Ofcom; Netflix in the UK offers 5,800, and claims 1,000 are 'original'. Of the 5,800, there are usually 200 or so titles changed in and out per month.  For April, Netflix viewers can enjoy Troy, Fall of A City, the turkey made with BBC funding, and the four series of Men Behaving Badly made for Auntie.


It looks like another pub favoured by Beeboids will close - at least for a while. The Kings Arms on Great Titchfield Street W1, on site since 1809, is having its upper floors made into flats this summer. Whether or not the ground floor pub, owned by Hertford brewers McMullens since 2013, comes back to life in the same form is not clear.

When ITN were in nearby Wells Street, the pub was frequented by relaxed newsreader, Reggie Bosanquet, who acquired a short term ban from the landlord for insisting on behind served ahead of other customers. Greg Dyke and his HR guru Professor Gareth Jones used to plot culture change at the BBC over pints of Guinness.

The pub's current USP is draught Prosecco.


Four meetings with the BBC in three months for Robbie Gibb, former BBC politics producer turned No 10 Director of Communications. And, on another list for the same period, a hospitality breakfast with Nick Robinson.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Top job

BBC Editorial Director Kamal Ahmed seems to be tweaking more than tv running orders. He's created a new department, Digital Current Affairs, and is looking for a News Editor.

"BBC Stories and Digital Current Affairs is part of the newly established department led by Kamal Ahmed.  DCA is at the forefront of attracting new audiences to the BBC.  We both create and curate excellent original journalism.  Our output includes BBC Stories (video, stills and text), Ouch, BBC Trending, and World Hacks.  We are at the forefront of innovating ways of telling stories digitally, part of which means we have to reflect the audiences we serve.

"We’re looking for a News Editor to work primarily on our Stories video output.  If you are an excellent journalist, know how to tell stories, understand social listening and analytics, like collaborating (with everyone), take risks, can inspire a team and have the patience to deal with other internal departments then apply."

For the uninitiated, BBC Stories is born from Titbits magazine: "The doctor wrote a question mark for my child's sex", "Black beauty and the Brazilian butt lift", "I helped test a wonder drug - then I was denied it", "Housemates from Hell - me and my 23-year-old son", etc, etc.

Friday, April 19, 2019


Here's a slightly unexpected ally for the BBC. The Mirror reports that the Democratic Unionist Party wants Theresa May to honour a 2017 manifesto pledge, and pay for free tv licences for the Over-75s.

When, occasionally, the Government wins votes in the Commons, it relies on the  DUP’s 10 MPs for its majority, and the current 'confidence and supply' deal with the Tories lasts for 'the duration of this Parliament'.

DUP frontbencher Emma Little-Pengelly said: “We believe action must be taken now to prevent the removal of this concession and we strongly urge the Government to step in and ensure this happens.”

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Doomed ?

The cheeky testudines at Tortoise are having a pop at their onlie begetter  - the BBC.

Next month they're offering a Thinkin billed "All-star dramas and water-cooler documentaries have made Netflix home of the TV everyone is talking about. As the deep-pocketed streaming giant inches towards global domination we ask: is the BBC, and all it stands for, doomed?"  The debate will be at Tortoise HQ, less than 600 yards on foot from Broadcasting House (a route still regularly travelled by Chris Cook, ex Newsnight, who may be lacking chums among the shelled ones).

Tortoise founder James Harding had custody of BBC News for four and a half years from 2013.


Broadcasting doges plot Radio 2's music policy....

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