Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Engineered wood

Rehearsals are continuing in Sky News' new glass box studio. Colin Brazier and Jayne Secker seem not to have chairs, never mind sofas. And is that all the floor there's going to be ?


I'm still dying to know what happens if you enter a postcode that's not your own in order to acquire a BBC iD. Here are some more new pledges I missed from yesterday...

The BBC has updated its privacy policy. This is based on three promises: 

Transparency – the BBC will only collect data needed to give audiences a better experience, improve its services and fulfil its responsibilities as a public service
Choice – it will let users manage or delete their BBC account at any time 
Trust – the BBC will never sell personal details to anyone and only use data commercially when people are using commercial BBC services, like BBC Store

Months ago

On days when your indefatigable blogger is struggling for content, reliable delivery of BBC Executive Board minutes, however dull, occasionally helps. Last set issued May....


Before it kicked off
Replays of the Royal Television Society spat between James Purnell, BBC Director of Strategy and Education, 46 and Jay Hunt, C4's Chief Creative Officer, 49, suggests Little Jimmy was more on the front foot than fast-talking combative Jay - and the fight crowd sounded more on Jay's side.

Does this matter ?  Well, it comes in a week when Roger Mosey, former BBC Editorial Director, suggested James Purnell was being prepared long-term as a candidate for DG. And sadly, James waved his cv too early and wildly at Jay, noting he had been a Culture Secretary and created Ofcom. Playground stuff, and James did himself no favours in the broadcasting community.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Canada Dry

"While the U.K. is preparing to cut itself adrift after a majority of its citizens voted to leave the European Union, the BBC is going the other way: Searching for new territories to colonize, in a brash effort to build a news and content empire after the country’s political one shrank to nothing."

An amusing account of's Canadian launch party (corn hushpuppies, vegetable samosas, and chilled prosecco) in the Toronto Globe & Mail.

What's your name and where're you from, love ?

BBC Director of Radio Helen Boaden may be winding down towards early retirement, but she's still the project sponsor of myBBC, picking up the pieces from a distracted James Purnell.

So it is Helen who today explains the BBC's new requirements of users of its key online services. From next Tuesday,  you'll need to enter a postcode to receive the many and varied blessings of a BBC iD. And from next year, you'll need a BBC iD to access the iPlayer. It's not clear whether any old postcode will do - I'm sure many will test that out next week.

Helen's explanation is pretty straight-faced.

"Some of you might be thinking that this is driven by the changes to the so-called ‘iPlayer loophole’ which means you now need a TV licence to download or watch BBC programmes on demand on iPlayer. It’s not – it’s about giving you a better BBC. As we said earlier this month, we’ll carry on using our existing enforcement processes and techniques which we believe to be adequate and appropriate. In fact, early TV Licensing data shows that – as we expected - significant numbers of new people have bought a licence since the new rules came into force. We will keep our processes under review to make sure they are effective. The Government has asked us to review whether a verification system for accessing the iPlayer will be required in the future."

Still to come...

BBC Director of Radio Helen Boaden confirmed her impending retirement at yesterday's Radio Festival, reports Radio Today. Here's an elegantly constructed sentence, in which the 'if' bit is nicely dissed by the following consequential...

“If BBC Radio is no longer a directorate in its own right, a whole load of things will change. But I won’t be there."

The Festival featured a warm speech from Minister for Digital and Culture, Matthew Hancock, one-time part-time minority sports reporter on Oxford student-run station Oxygen 107.9FM. So warm, that somebody now needs to make it clear what's so wrong with the BBC side of radio ecology that merits major managerial change...

Pon de replay

Martin Bashir, 53, (Wandsworth School for Boys, King Alfred's College of Higher Education, Winchester, and King's College London - English & History) is to be the new BBC Religious Affairs correspondent. It's not clear how he's been earning a crust since resigning from MSNBC in December 2013.

The BBC internal email announcing the appointment describes him as a student of theology. (This may be analagous to me being a student of Everton FC.) In New York in recent years he's been attending Tim Keller's Redeemer Presbyterian Church, founded in 1989.

In 2010, Martin, who plays bass guitar, released an album of his own reggae tunes, Bass Lion. The backing tracks were recorded in New York, and the various vocals added in trips to Jamaica.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Value chain

Keith Richards' BBC4 weekend, with interstices filmed by Julien Temple, may have provided Mr Temple with some additional residuals.

Keef's schedule of favourites included Julien Temple's 2001 film Pandaemonium, about Samuel Taylor Coleridge, famous over the years for his blues poetry; 2012's London: The Modern Babylon, "Legendary director Julien Temple's time-travelling voyage to the heart of his hometown"; and Keith Richards - The Origin of the Species - "A Julien Temple-authored documentary essay film about Keith Richards's postwar childhood and adolescence in Dartford and London." first broadcast in July 2016 at one hour, and now back with an additional 20 minutes.

Low Gear

The BBC has confirmed that Matt LeBlanc will host the next series of Top Gear. The papers suggest that Auntie was not in a great position in this talent negotiation.

The press notice says "Top Gear series 24 returns to BBC Two next year". That's a painful reminder of what the BBC lost financially in Series 23. The contract was to produce two runs of eight shows before Spring 2017, plus two Christmas specials. The specials were put in the 'too difficult' box back in July, and now the expectation, as we come to the end of September, is that Series 24 won't see the light of transmission until Spring 2017 - and no-one is saying how many episodes there will be.

Other people who read this.......