BBC to be smaller but fitter in six years: DG Mark Thompson

MUMBAI: UK pubcaster the BBC has unveiled a radical programme of reform which it claims will not only continue to deliver the highest quality content to audiences but will also make it available when and how they want it.

Following approval by the BBC Trust, the six-year plan will deliver a smaller but fitter organisation. Every part of the BBC will be required to make efficiency savings, with every penny freed up reinvested in high quality, distinctive content and the way audiences consume it.

The plan, 'Delivering Creative Future' rests on three fundamental propositions:

A focus on quality – to provide fewer but better, more innovative and more distinctive programmes.

A digital step change – to offer audiences programmes wherever and whenever they want them – from iPlayer to My BBC Radio, audiences will be able to find, play and share BBC content. To help deliver this ambition, largely separate TV, radio and web news operations will integrate into one of the world's most advanced multimedia newsrooms.

A smaller BBC - which will provide best value to audiences.

BBC DG Mark Thompson told staff, "Media is transforming. Audiences are transforming. It would be easy to say that the sheer pace of this revolution is too fast for the BBC. That for us to do what other media players are doing – integrating newsrooms, mixing media, exploiting the same content aggressively across different platforms – is just too radical ... but I think we can see both here and around the world the price you pay for taking what looks like the safe option.

"I've devoted almost my whole working life to the BBC, much of that not as a suit but as a rank-and-file programme-maker. I love the BBC and what it stands for. I care too much to see it drift steadily into irrelevance."

Over the next six years, the BBC will focus particularly on enhancing quality output in journalism, drama, knowledge and comedy programming.

The BBC claims that tough choices have been necessary, against the backdrop of the licence fee settlement, to deliver these plans. From the raft of detailed proposals, the headline efficiency savings and financial reprioritisation decisions approved by the Trust are:

Meeting demanding efficiency targets of three per cent per year for the period.

Making 10 per cent less originated programming in television by 2012/13, cutting lower impact programming to focus on fewer, higher quality, programmes.

A radical reform of factual programme-making to ensure a sustainable in-house production base which will maintain this output at the heart of the BBC.

In the Journalism group, which includes News, Nations and Regions, Global News and Sport, tackling duplication by bringing services together into a market-leading tri-media news production operation and promoting greater multi-media working.

A decision, approved separately by the BBC Trust, to reduce the size of the property portfolio in west London by selling BBC Television Centre by the end the financial year 2012/13.

A range of earlier proposals for new activities amounting to £1.5 billion over the next six years have been dropped, including four full new local radio stations, and there have been cuts to the budget for BBC Three (£10 million) and its new teen service.

Overall the BBC will make approximately 1,800 redundancies by the end of the period. The BBC expects to close an estimated 2,500 positions between now and 2012/2013, with the areas of News and Factual production most affected. The impact on staff will be significantly lessened by fresh investment that will create new jobs and by natural staff turnover.

Summarising what these plans would mean for the BBC by 2012/13, Thompson told staff that "there will be a smaller BBC, but one which packs a bigger punch because it is more focused on quality and the content that really makes a difference to audiences. And it will be a BBC which is fully prepared for digital".

BBC Trust chairman Sir Michael Lyons said, "All of us at the BBC have constantly to remind ourselves that the guaranteed and privileged funding at our disposal is coming from people who have no choice but to pay it. This is the public's BBC and the public pays for it with the licence fee. And those same people have made it absolutely clear that they want quality, value and something a bit special in return. After six months of very detailed work by the management and rigorous testing and challenge from the BBC Trust, we are confident that the plans we have approved today will safeguard the core values of the BBC at a time of radical and accelerating change in technology, markets and audience expectations."

The BBC Trust says that it is confident that the management's strategy should safeguard the core values of the BBC at a time of radical and accelerating change in technology, markets and audience expectations. Inevitably, there are difficult choices to be made, heightened by a tight funding settlement. But at the heart of the strategic plan remains a firm commitment to the delivery of the BBC's public purposes through high quality and distinctive creative content. It includes efficiency savings to free up resources for programming and measures to reprioritise spend to extract greater value for audiences.

Latest Reads
Comedy Central sets pace for ultimate celebration with over 100 hours of non-stop FRIENDS ultra marathon for its 6th birthday

Birthdays and New Years are great occasions to make resolutions for participating in marathons. However, this is one marathon which calls for hanging up your running shoes and grabbing the best spot in front of the telly with a bowl of munchies to keep you going because, for the first time ever in...

Television TV Channels English Entertainment
U Sports launches India's first ever Multi-Platform Multi-Game E-Sports Championship - U Cypher with MTV

The Indian E-Sports scenario is all set for a major revamp as U Sports, one of India’s biggest sports business companies in association with India’s No. 1 Youth Brand, MTV, announces the premiere of their all new month-long championship, U Cypher with MTV. Premiering today, on 19th January, the...

Television TV Channels Sports
TV ownership increased by 14% in 2017: IRS

After a gap of four years, the Indian Readership Survey (IRS), which documents the growth of the media industry, has been released for 2017. The survey methodology was criticised in 2014 and, therefore, was halted for an upgrade. This time, the sample size has been increased by 34 per cent to 3.2...

Television TV Channels Viewership
CNN-News18 launches 'If I Were FM Challenge'

As part of its Budget programming, CNN-News18 is launching the ‘If I were FM Challenge’. The campaign will encourage viewers to contribute their suggestions for the Union Budget. The channel will run an extensive on-air campaign to promote the same.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
BBC World News to Broadcast 'China's Chat Girls'

Lele Tao is an internet superstar in China’s $3 billion dollar ‘live streaming’ industry. With more than a million fans she can earn thousands of dollars a day singing, dancing, flirting, or often just chatting into her webcam. Fans buy her virtual gifts which she redeems for cash. In return she...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
PKL season 6 and 7 dates announced

The second most watched domestic league in India, Vivo Pro Kabaddi League owned by Mashal Sports and Star India announced the dates of sixth and seventh season.

Television TV Channels Sports
Star Bharat leads Hindi GEC (U+R) in week 2 of BARC ratings

MUMBAI: Star Bharat emerged as the leader in the Hindi GEC (U+R) genre dethroning Zee Anmol according to Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) all India data for week 2 of 2018.

Television TV Channels Viewership
BARC week 2: Aaj Tak leads Hindi News in all three markets

MUMBAI: Republic TV continues its leading streak in the second week of the year as well in BARC All India ratings. News Nation stays in the top five chart in week 2 of 2018 in Hindi News Rural market. Aaj Tak tops the chart again in Hindi News Urban market.

Television TV Channels Viewership
Dsport acquires India rights of tri-nation tournament in SL

Discovery’s sports channel Dsport has acquired the exclusive India broadcast rights of Nidahas Trophy 2018, a tri-nation international T20 tournament involving India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The transaction was facilitated by Lagardère Sports, the global marketing consultant of Sri Lanka Cricket...

Television TV Channels Sports

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories