Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Away in.....

Job opportunity for someone willing to go the extra mile in checking copy pre-publication....

News + News =

 Even Naja Nielsen, who made her journalistic reputation in Denmark, has caught the language of W1A: "We want to keep the best of what we do at the moment, while introducing better ways of reporting what matters."

This is from a statement ahead of the phased subsumption of the BBC News channel, into the money-making mothership of BBC World News.  Our Naj does, at least, mention that money is at the heart of this:"We need to modernise the way we deliver the news – while addressing the financial challenges we face. 

So the schedules that face the UK from Monday are largely split into half-hour chunks. There's no mention of World News 'brands' like The Context, Outside Source or World Update. Newsday, from Singapore, is there. The all-new-World News America may not be ready for Monday. Newsnight gets a run-out after the BBC News at Ten, in a move demanded by no-one. And the technocrats of BBC News have clearly been unable to turn round a tv version of the Nicky Campbell show in time, despite announcing their intention back in July 2022. Making commercial competitors look agile.... 

Monday, March 27, 2023

The problems of the pre-record

Former newspaper editor Piers Morgan is today trying to get some mileage out of an interview recorded on Saturday, originally set for transmission tonight at 8pm, and clearly out of date in many of its answers.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Sounds fun

Hope BBC Sounds can cope for a couple of days, given the attendance at Radio Days, Prague

Emma Coneely, Head of Metadata BBC Sounds
Jonny Kanasagooriam, Head of Content Strategy BBC Sounds
Sam Bonham, Senior Editor BBC News Podcasts
Nicky Birch, New Formats and Innovation, BBC Sounds
Grace Jasper, Research Manager, BBC Sounds and Radio 4
Anisha Ratan, Audience Research Manager, youth music portfolio, BBC
Rebecca Grisedale-Sherry, Podcast Development Manager BBC Sounds
Chris Price, Head of Music, Radio 1 and 1Xtra

An independent view ?

Shadow Culture Secretary Lucy Powell is setting up a 'panel' to look at the independence of the BBC.

Its membership may raise eyebrows. It includes TV producer Steve Morrison, a former Granada TV director of programmes and chief executive who leaves his role as a BBC non-exec in five days' time;  James Purnell, a former BBC director of strategy and Culture Secretary under Labour, currently struggling on at the University of the Arts London on £340k; TV presenter June Sarpong, who was formerly the BBC’s first director of creative diversity, and the BBC's most expensive manager, pro-rata; and Lou Cordwell, chair of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, who worked with the BBC on a range of high-profile digital projects, including the digital delivery of BBC Ideas, from an idea by James Purnell.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Round and round

Here's a reasonable outside bet. BBC News (the new, merged Proudly British, Uniquely Global channel) will fall below Sky News in monthly reach before the end of the year. 

Newswatch this week noticed how many times the channel has been showing a half hour special on guide dogs over recent weeks. This week, a half hour special on The Changing Face of Hollywood, gets outings at 0230, 1130 and 1630 today, 1330, 1730 and 0130 Sunday, 2030 Monday and 0230 Wednesday. Not far behind - an edition of Witness History, on today 1330, 2030 and 0030, then 1030 and 1630 Sunday, and then 0130 Wednesday. Is interim channel editor Paul Royall busy on something else ?

Friday, March 24, 2023


How to get your old business chum a job as BBC Deputy Chairman. Here's the just-released full minute from the November 22 meeting of the BBC Nominations Committee, held by video, chaired by Richard Sharp, with Tim Davie and three non-execs presumably all voting in favour. 

4 BBC Deputy Chair
4.1 The Committee considered a proposal recommending to the creation of the role of Deputy Chair of the BBC Board to which the current chair of the BBC Commercial Board, Sir Damon Buffini, be appointed in order to reflect the integral part that BBC Commercial plays in the overall success of the Corporation.
4.2 The Committee noted that where the Charter specified functions to be carried out by the Chairman (e.g. to chair the Nominations Committee, or to tender proposals for terminating the office of a Board member) these could not be carried out by the Deputy Chair (as formally, he or she is simply an ordinary member of the Board);
4.3 In addition, the Charter had specific terms surrounding the appointment of an Acting Chair, should the role of Chairman fall vacant. Article 22(6) specified that in the case of a vacancy in the role of Chairman, the Secretary of State, having consulted with the Board, would appoint one of the non-executive directors as “Acting Chair” while a recruitment round took place. So, while it would be possible for the Deputy Chair to deputise while the Chairman is in office, it would not be automatic than anyone appointed as Deputy Chair would become Acting Chair.
4.4 The Committee discussed the proposal. Committee members agreed that the title was useful in emphasising the role of BBC Studios and the Commercial Board in the BBC as a whole. The Committee agreed the proposal on the basis that; 
• It was only ever held by the Chair of Commercial Board for the purpose of promoting the role of the BBC’s commercial arm.
• It would be reviewed by each new BBC Chairman
• The role of the senior independent director remained the same, and that this would be clarified in the announcement.
4.5 In agreeing the proposal, the Committee noted that it would be important to ensure continuing gender diversity among the non-executives on the Board as part of ongoing succession planning

Singers reprieved

The BBC statement on 'suspending' the closure of the BBC Singers whilst it explores offers of alternative funding, is lacking entirely in a signature or quote from an executive or senior manager. 

Let's be clear - the decision to close will have been informally signed off by the BBC Board, where Chairman Richard Sharp is the only member with a previous history of supporting classical music. Tim Davie, Charlotte Moore, Lorna Clarke and Simon Webb are the other names you need to remember. 

Podium watch

Traditionally, the BBC Proms season is announced in the third week of April. The Proms Guide, usually just under 200 pages, is available to order from Amazon, for £7.91 if you indulge in Prime, reduced from its RRP of £8.99, and is published on 20th April.  

I suspect, as with L'Affaire Lineker, the first conductor to withdraw could cause a wider drop out, and the real difficulty of replacements, presumably supportive of the closure of the BBC Singers, coming forward.  You might like to visit Amazon for a thick black felt tip pen. 

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Peter Day RIP

Former BBC financial journalist Peter Day has died at his home in Islington, North London, aged 76.  Peter (Lincoln School and BA English St Edmund Hall Oxford) trained on local papers in South Devon, and had a spell with the Daily Record before joining BBC Radio News in 1974, in a newly-formed 'Financial Unit'  with James Long, focussed on city and business news. He had a short break as industrial and economics correspondent for TV-Am (his verdict - 'disastrous') before returning, and joining the Financial World Tonight.  In 1988 he presented the first series of In Business on Radio 4. It kept going to 2016, sufficiently long to get a boost when it was deemed to be a 'podcast', awarded Most Downloaded in 2007.  

He survived Birtism, and the arrival of Peter Jay as Economics Editor: "Peter Jay came in and pooh-poohed business and said it was all economics, and business was subjugate to that. And because he had such a reputation, they listened to that type of crap."

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