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Sunday 10 July 2011

On The BBC, But Not In Many Papers

Yesterday brought news about the BBC. More specifically, it was about the pay of the Corporation’s top management, so one might expect the Fourth Estate to show some interest. But the information, concerning sums running into millions of pounds, is nowhere to be seen in the Mail, Express or Telegraph.

Why could that be? Well, as the Guardian has reported, the story is that the Beeb has succeeded in cutting the cost of its top management, and by an annual £2.1 million – or, more significantly, a whole 43%. Even after compensation payments of £1.3 million, that means a profit in the first year. And the number of executive directors has been cut from ten to seven.

There’s more good news on numbers of senior managers – down by 16.6% and set to be reduced, ultimately, by 20% – along with their pay, reduced by 21.1% with an ultimate target reduction of 25%. The latter figure translates into a money saving of £20 millions. So that means more money to make programmes, which is what critics have been demanding.

Instead, the Mail’s Paul Revoir (crazy name, crazy guy?!?!?) assails his readers with whinges about Media City, where “nobody wants to work” (bit like the Mail when the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre is in rant mode, then), attempts to whip up a storm over Blue Peter (pity it was two months late), and carps about a supposed “splurge” on summer events last year (note the use of “splash out” and “bloated”).

The Maily Telegraph is little better, with “BBC Three: a shameless waste of the licence fee?”, a rhetorical question in the tradition established by Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). And we are told that “Licence fee for ‘wasteful’ BBC will be cut”, in another example of the paper’s move to agenda driven copy. The latter piece does mention the 25% reduction in senior managers’ pay – but its achievement merits no mention this weekend.

Which suggests that there are some news sources out there that only want to publish negative stories about the Beeb. Dog bites man, film at eleven.

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