Former BBC chief attacks secret government licence fee deal

A former director general of the BBC has warned that the corporation faces a much tougher political environment now than five years ago and criticised the way the charter renewal negotiations have been handled so far.

Mark Thompson said that it was wrong to force the broadcaster to provide free licence fees for the over-75s at a cost of £700m a year by the next decade.

Giving his his first interview about the BBC since he left in 2012, after eight years at the helm, Thompson said the broadcaster was having to pay for government policy. “It’s welfare … It’s totally inappropriate to use BBC to support social transfer in this country.”

When George Osborne tried to impose the same cost on the BBC during negotiations in 2010, Thompson started writing his resignation letter, along with several BBC Trustees. This July the current director general, Tony Hall, agreed to shoulder the burden in return for relief from other costs.

Source: Former BBC chief attacks secret government licence fee deal | Media | The Guardian

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5 thoughts on “Former BBC chief attacks secret government licence fee deal

  1. Dez

    As long as it forces the BBC to drastically reduce its bloated and overpaid management and really make robust efforts to look at all its costs bases including the army of expensive bum wipers they seem to engage every time they go on the road. Dismiss everyone who is responsible for keep offerring viewers hours and hours of daily repeats some two or three years old…..licence payers fees paid for such lazy lacklustre management of programs needs addressing asap. Paying enormous fees for so called stars who have long passed their sell by date needs seriously looking at….seems the public know when someone has lost their attraction yet BBC management keep being persuaded by greedy star agents that their stars are still shining…..

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      And what about the produce of the ITV channels – 1, 2, 3 and 4? Have you counted the number of repeats on those?
      Or Sky? How many repeats on Sky channels? How often do they re-run the same movies?
      If the Tories attack the BBC, it will be programming that suffers first, so your ideas about slimming down management are misguided, I’m afraid.

      1. roybeiley

        I can not believe that Dez actually watches anything on BBC TV! The BBC is far from perfect and it does need to reduce its Managenent costs. But it also needs to employ proper commisioning editors who will provide us with far better programmes rather than the current turnip tops who only “risk” putting on stupid Bake Off type programmes fronted by that presenter who looks like Mr Potato Head or the equally monotonous Mary Berry. Why do they put on this fiddly diddly cooking stuff when the majority of people who watch them probably stick a ready meal in the micowave.

      2. jray

        I disagree,the BBC is out of control,similar to a lot of the DWP ideas (UC,CWP.WRAG,ect) should the BBC survive? Yes.but make it subscription.

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