Sunday, 18 July 2010
Jeremy Hunt has put the BBC on notice about cuts when its Charter comes up for renewal.
Now there is a couple of things that makes me nervous about this and is actually symptomatic of the Civil Service culture anyway.
1) Do you think the cuts will be in the huge infratructure that the BBC employs? All those middle-tiered managers, training officers, diversity and health n safety officers etc?
Nope, it will be the programmes themselves that will face the cuts. Doctor Who is already on a 5% cut in budget, rumours abound that Top Gear is also facing stringent cuts as well - this is despite them being vast money earners for BBC Worldwide.
2) What do you think the response of the BBC will be? It will be that this is a threat to programmes that will be scrapped, cut etc, like the NHS. Not the management system. The programmes themselves, programmes that are already being cut to pay for the infrastructure of the BBC.
This is what gets me. Cuts can be made, jobs can be axed, without a massive threat to services. Why all these managers etc? What do they all do? This is what the BBC and all of the public sector should be looking at. For the BBC, the non-creatives; the NHS, the non-medical/front-line. Get rid of all these people who seem to be there to propogate their own jobs.
Also, I do think the BBC has lost its way as it's grown to its behemoth-size.
It is meant to educate and entertain and also supply programmes/services that aren't available elswhere.
I know it's a bit of a damned if we do, damned if we don't position vis a vis rating but:
1) Scrap/sell off Radio One. There's no need for it to be paid for by the licence fee.
2) Scrap News 24 - waste of resource. If something major is happening then report it on the main channels.
3) Scrap BBC3 - or reform it. There is some gems on the channels, otherwise it's full of dross that can be replicated on Channel 4.
4) Boost BBC 2. Get it back to its former glories instead of the home/cookery channel is seems to have been morphed into.
5) Ditto for BBC 4. There has been some crackers on this under-acheiving channel. The thing is, I only know because I look at what's on - most people need a bit of a push.
6) BBC Worldwide. We know from its accounts that it is profitable. We know that it's top earners are facing cuts - why? Surely each programme should have "ownership" of some of its own branding. I think that a percentage of each individual profits should be plowed back into that programme whilst it is on the air and then the rest should be diverted to programming.
7) Increase the freelance output. Make the BBC more of a publishing house for, say 60% of output. This gives jobs to the industry and would probably be cheaper.
8) Seperate BBC Films from the licence fee - make it stand on its own succes/failure.
I'm sure there are many more but to begin with, this is a start!