Thursday, November 9, 2017


Applications to succeed James Harding as Director of News close tomorrow - and Lord Hall is quietly boxing candidates in on the money front.

Yesterday he announced that BBC local radio in England - part of News - will be protected from planned savings of £10m - that's 8% of the 2016/17 budget. Earlier, a BBC spokesman came to the aid of one of News' most expensive products - Newsnight.

“Newsnight is a firm fixture in the BBC schedule because it is a vibrant and original force in British journalism, tackling the biggest stories and widely admired for its news making interviews, in-depth investigations and original journalism.

“The programme is on great form with a stable TV audience, a significant digital footprint and a string of stories and exclusives. With a talented team in place, the editor of Newsnight is one of the best jobs in British TV journalism and we will begin recruiting shortly.”

The show returns a cumulative audience of around 600k a night, when you count both the original transmission and the News Channel repeat, and is thought to have a budget of above £6m.

Today is also the 20th birthday of the News Channel, nee News 24, which brings 7.2m a week to BBC News. James Harding sought to subsume it into BBC World News to make savings, and was thwarted by Lord Hall.

When the candidates presenter their Powerpoints, Lord Hall will be looking for a section called "Wot's left to cut ?"

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