It's just that this whole BBC cuts malarky gets to me like a bad rash. The headline story is that there will be 1800 job losses, mostly in news and factual and the BBC is facing a £2 Billion shortfall.
Looking a little closer there will actually be something like 2800 job losses from news and factual, with 1000 being retrained to go into 'new media' and the £2 Billion shortfall is actually over 6 years.
A couple of things spring to mind. If 2800 jobs can go from news and factual without significantly damaging the quality of output then something was well rotten in the State of Denmark beforehand. Overstaffing and empire building perhaps? Given the percentage of BBC Governors whose Kith and Kin appear to be hanging around news and factual that may not be far from the truth.
But something really irks me when a public service broadcaster reknowned for it's news gathering service and documentaries slashes away at that service for the sake of budget, but leaves utter dross like Homes Under The Hammer, Beat The Bailliff, and just about every programme on BBC3 untouched. Not to mention all those digital radio stations who get about 5 listeners a day.
Here's a tip to save the news service millions of pounds a year. Stop the Empty Building interview. How many times do we see a reporter at ten at night standing outside the EMPTY Department of Transport or Home Office or Labour headquarters? There is no one there! Except the reporter and a very expensive outside broadcast team. For a thirty second spot where the reporter could impart all he has to say face to face with the news reader in the studio? Does the audience somehow feel the story isn't true unless the reporter is standing outside the blacked out building? I think not.
So, on the basis that the BBC hasn't actually had a cut in budget, it just didn't get as much as it had hoped for, why the sudden swinging cuts? Are they saying that they staffed up to levels they hoped they would be able to afford at a later date? Surely not?
Personally I think this smacks of Mark Thompson latching on to the opportunity to do some long overdue housekeeping. The spin that the BBC is in financial crisis just doesn't wash with me. It sounds more like the opening gambit to put to the Unions.
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