Daily Mail

New BBC chief’s war on bias and point­less bosses

- By Paul Revoir Me­dia Edi­tor Glasgow · Netflix · Amazon · The Walt Disney Company · British Sky Broadcasting · BBC Studios and Post Production · Last Night

THE BBC’s new di­rec­tor­gen­eral is set to tar­get bloated man­age­ment and tighten rules on im­par­tial­ity as he re­forms the cor­po­ra­tion ‘ with ur­gency’ to sur­vive ‘in this dig­i­tal age’.

Tim Davie, who be­gan his new job in jeans and train­ers yes­ter­day, plans to wield the axe in order to fo­cus spend­ing on the cor­po­ra­tion’s pro­grammes them­selves.

Sources said bosses will be ex­pected to jus­tify their po­si­tions – and those who fail to do so face the chop.

Mr Davie’s plans also re­port­edly in­clude steps to pre­vent the BBC from be­ing viewed as a cam­paign­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion. The broad­caster has faced in­creased crit­i­cism that it has be­come dom­i­nated by a ‘woke’ Left-wing agenda.

In his open­ing email to staff, Mr Davie, 53, stressed yes­ter­day that the cor­po­ra­tion must rep­re­sent ‘ev­ery part of this coun­try’. Hav­ing spent his first day in charge meet­ing work­ers at BBC Scot­land in Glas­gow, he will lay out his plans in more de­tail in a speech to staff to­mor­row.

Mr Davie takes over as the BBC faces bat­tles on sev­eral fronts, from rows over the li­cence fee to com­pe­ti­tion from US gi­ants Net­flix, Ama­zon and Dis­ney. A source said of Mr Davie’s planned staff cull: ‘We need to en­sure that the run­ning of the BBC is as lean and ef­fec­tive as pos­si­ble and that we max­imise value to the pub­lic who pay for us.’ The last BBC an­nual re­port re­vealed it has 250 ‘ se­nior lead­ers’ on £50,000 or more.

Mr Davie him­self had been due to re­ceive £525,000 a year but has taken a ‘salary stand­still’ un­til Au­gust 2021. Un­til then he will be paid a mere £ 450,000 – the same as his pre­de­ces­sor Tony Hall.

This rep­re­sents a con­sid­er­able step down from the new di­rec­tor-gen­eral’s pre­vi­ous role as head of the cor­po­ra­tion’s com­mer­cial arm, BBC Stu­dios, which saw him paid £600,000 in base salary and bonuses.

A poll com­mis­sioned by the Mail last week found that more than half of re­spon­dents think the BBC is too po­lit­i­cally cor­rect. A sim­i­lar pro­por­tion said it does not re­flect their val­ues. Im­par­tial­ity is known to be one of Mr Davie’s pri­or­i­ties, and he is ex­pected to take a tougher line than his pre­de­ces­sor. BBC jour­nal­ists face a crack­down on their use of so­cial me­dia, as well as lu­cra­tive out­side work.

Stars could be forced to de­clare their non-BBC earn­ings in an at­tempt to shame them from tak­ing on other jobs that could com­pro­mise the broad­caster’s rep­u­ta­tion.

Mr Davie also plans to tar­get ‘BBC bloke’ by pur­su­ing more sports pro­gram­ming, after the cor­po­ra­tion broad­cast its first live cricket match for 21 years last week­end. The BBC hopes to strike deals by point­ing to its wider au­di­ences com­pared with ri­vals such as Sky and BT.

In his email to staff, Mr Davie wrote: ‘Over­all my guid­ing prin­ci­ple is that we are a uni­ver­sal pub­lic ser­vice, a BBC for all, that serves and rep­re­sents ev­ery part of this coun­try.

‘Our fo­cus must be to en­sure that we de­liver out­stand­ing and unique value to all au­di­ences, those who pay for us and are in ef­fect our cus­tomers, in re­turn for their li­cence fee.

‘To do this we will need to keep re­form­ing the BBC with ur­gency so that we are trusted, rel­e­vant and in­dis­pens­able in this dig­i­tal age. Your work is ad­mired... across the world. I am here to en­sure that con­tin­ues.’ His com­ments came after the Mail’s poll found that 67 per cent be­lieve that on­line ri­vals have made the BBC ‘ less rel­e­vant’. Some 71 per cent said the li­cence fee is ‘out­dated’, while 65 per cent said it should be scrapped.

Amid out­cry over the de­ci­sion to drop the lyrics to Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Bri­tan­nia on the Last Night of the Proms, 59 per cent said the BBC had got it wrong – ris­ing to 80 per cent among over-65s.

‘Rep­re­sent ev­ery part of this coun­try’

 ??  ?? Room for im­prove­ment: Mr Davie’s ca­sual out­fit for his first day yes­ter­day
Room for im­prove­ment: Mr Davie’s ca­sual out­fit for his first day yes­ter­day

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