Tim Davie - first big test
Pausing only to check they have to hand the annual salary for the Prime Minister to use as a fraudulent comparator, the Fourth Estate - most likely with the Daily Mail in the vanguard - will then peruse the top ten earners and duly drip contempt upon them, safe in the knowledge that the wedge trousered by their obscenely overpaid hacks and pundits need not be disclosed for fear of upsetting the minions they keep sending down the road.
Knowing this, the Beeb has made sure the news is announced first by themselves, in the middle of the day, so the information gets out there before the Dailies fire up their outrage machines. So what’s new, or who’s new, this year?
“Match of the Day host Gary Lineker has agreed a £400,000 pay cut, the BBC has revealed as it publishes the latest list of its best-paid presenters”. That’s not how tomorrow’s Mail will put it. But do go on. “The chart shows Lineker as the highest-earning star with an unchanged salary of £1.75m in the last financial year”. Yes, that’s how the Mail will put it. TWELVE PMs SALARIES SHOCK HORROR OUTRAGE!
But that will not be the main focus of Northcliffe House anger. “Fiona Bruce and Lauren Laverne have also moved into the top 10 of the BBC's highest-paid stars, which features four women for the first time. Vanessa Feltz is also among the top earners, the corporation's annual report shows”. Nope, they won’t be the butt of outrage, either.
They gave her a pay rise? Aarghh! Jibber! JIBBER!
There is more. “Director general Tim Davie told reporters: ‘Gary Lineker has signed up to a new five-year contract saving a quarter over his last contract.’ Mr Davie described the former England player as a brilliant broadcaster and said his new deal was a great example of the ‘best talent and the best value … And before you ask, Gary knows his responsibility to the BBC in terms of his use of social media’ Mr Davie added”.
That might get the press pack itching, but no, the real red rag comes later in the story. “The top-earning presenters are still all white, although Mr Davie said 18% of those making more than £150,000 were from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, up from 12% four years ago”. And I doubt they’ll care about stats like that.
So what is going to induce conniptions at the Mail, Express, Telegraph, Times and Sun? We have to wait until BBC media editor Amol Rajan gives his analysis to find out. And if you blinked, you may have missed it. “Crucially, the pay rises for these female broadcasters (Zoe Ball, Fiona Bruce, Lauren Laverne, Emily Maitlis), reflect additional work”. EMILY MAITLIS IS GETTING A PAY RISE! The Polecat basher being rewarded!
While the more lame right-wing whingers, like the loathsome Toby Young (and the TPA), home in on Lineker, the thunder from Northcliffe House and the Baby Shard is going to rain down on Ms Maitlis. They wanted her out. Instead, she got a pay rise.
As well as proving that the press would be lost without a BBC to bash. No change there.
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