The head of BBC Global News Richard Sambrook has posted a response to my critique of the recent BBC cuts. He makes some interesting points that deserve bringing to your attention. It gives an insight into the view from the BBC management perspective. Richard also blogs at SacredFacts. Here’s what he wrote:
It’s not just the 3% efficiencies. The Licence Fee settlement was flat in real terms. In addition we have to meet the costs of digital switch over, targeted help, and the costs of moving a significant part of the organisation to Salford – all conditions of the new charter and agreement. Those costs plus the efficiencies plus (scaled back) digital investment plans come to £2billion over six years.
On Factual, the current issue is over-capacity in the London production base in view of the increased volume of independent productions and more production in the nations and regions (ie out of London). Factual hours are being cut back – although only to 2004 levels – under the plan to do fewer hours of higher quality rather than spread the budgets more thinly across more output…
These cuts also entail a significant de-layering of management. The last round of efficiencies, from which we’ve only just emerged, saw central services cut back hugely (67% of Finance staff for example) and the management consultants were here ten years ago but have long gone….
Richard Sambrook, Head of BBC Global News.
And here’s another point of view on the ‘BBC Empire’ by the Guardian’s Simon Jenkins.