Thursday, June 29, 2017

Crystal clear

In the new BBC World of Pay, as proposed by HR thought-leader Valerie Hughes D'Aeth, each employee currently graded 2 to 11, will be lifted carefully, and placed, gingerly, in a shiny, new, transparent yet robust Career Path Framework.

2 to 11 are replaced by broad bands (not broadbands) A to F. Within each of these five "market-aligned" bands, there will be "market-informed" job pay ranges, assigned to job titles. They run from £18k to £110k. Still with me ? Mapped across this will be c25 "job families". (I'm not sure I'm still with me, never mind you).

How do you get a pay rise beyond the annual review ? Well, Valerie believes around 3,000 staff will immediately benefit from an additional 1.5% because they've landed below, or very low, in the new market-informed job pay ranges. If you've landed at the top, or beyond it, any increases will be paid as one-offs, not added to pensionable salary.

Beyond that, the old "annual increments", "growth in job" or "fully-effective salary" are gone, and it's pretty unclear how you prove you're worth more than a standard annual increase, other than getting a job in the next broad band. Then you get moved to the bottom of the new job pay range, or a 5% lift, whichever is greater.


BBC HR chief Valerie Hughes D'Aeth has issued her constitutional plan for the New Republic, tearing down the terms and conditions of the Ancien Regime, and embarking on a country-wide roadshow to take the sans-culottes with her, culminating in a London rally on Bastille Day.

The personnel firebrand has also proposed a few extra sous, to encourage the staff to come with her on a journey to simplicity and transparency, across the marshlands of Conservative public sector pay policy. If they provide Val with the acclamation she seeks, theirs will be 1%  this year, from August 1st (backdated if the acclamation is prolonged) and 1.75% the following year.

It's powerful stuff.

BBC Sick Pay becomes BBC Health Absence Pay. No paid time to see the doctor or dentist.

Rotas and schedules become "Working Patterns" - and you'll be classed as either Fixed, Shift or Variable. Lower ranks only, of course.

"Overtime" is dead, and the principle is time off in return, rather than money in your pay packet. Shift workers are the exception; under the "Managing Additional Hours Policy", there's no dosh, ever, ever, ever, for the first 30 minutes. If you get to 15% on top of your basic in salary in "Additional Hours" payments, you will be called in for a "Wellbeing Review", because, I assume, it's your fault if your manager keeps asking you to do overtime additional hours.

People currently in receipt of "Unpredictability Allowances" will still get them, but they'll be frozen. Your manager will be entitled to muck around with your "working pattern" up to two weeks in advance, and after that, can still change your shift start time by up to three hours.

No expenses claims for alcohol.

Flying: premium economy ok for flights longer than six hours, if you're working on touch down; business class for flights longer than eight hours, again, if you can show you're working when you land.

Gone are grades; in comes a Career Path Framework, and you'll all be mapped into new 'market-informed Job Pay Ranges'. This deserves a separate post....

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


Remember Nemley Jr ?  The baby chimpanzee was freed from wildlife traffickers in Ivory Coast following a BBC investigation, fronted by David Shukman, at a not inconsiderable cost to Newsgathering budgets.

It's not all bad news; David's still getting mileage out of it.

No numbers

An entertaining series of Ali-shuffles by three BBC suits left Welsh Assembly members data free this morning.

Lord Hall, Rhodri Talfan-Davies and Ken MacQuarrie gave not an inch on KPIs, measurable objectives or plain old broadcast hours in helping the politicians decide whether or not 'Welsh portrayal' was improving or not. "Judge us by what you see on screen" was the BBC's strong and stable answer, followed up regularly by "This is not a science".

It also turns out that current science can't bi-furcate FM transmitters along the Welsh border, so the cunning plan of inserting news bulletins written and read in Cardiff into Radio 1 and Radio 2 is now a non-runner.


Tuesday, while the Alpha Males were twitter-spatting...

Good Morning Britain - 794k (21.1%)

Breakfast - 1.54m (38.1%)


Yesterday's Twitter spat between Piers Morgan at Good Morning Britain and Dan Walker at BBC Breakfast seemed to start over ITV losing an interview with Michael Fallon - and then spread to interviewing styles and ratings. I think Mr Walker may be sent for social media re-training soon. Even under plain-talking comms thought-leader John Shield. the BBC house style is not to be spotted as an aggressor.

    Monday's overnights: Breakfast - 1.44m (39.1%)  Good Morning Britain - 691k (20.2%)

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Former BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders will be returning to UK screens shortly - at least, if you have Sky, Virgin or Freesat. She's heading up a new unit at Bloomberg in London, bringing the on-screen economics reporters of Bloomberg TV together with the research economists at Bloomberg Intelligence. The new team will be 120-strong (not clear if that's an increase or decrease on the current combined total), will be called Bloomberg Economics and starts operations in October.

Stephanie left the BBC in 2013 for JP Morgan Asset Management.

Radio rules

Radio reaches more Americans each week than any other platform. Latest stats from the Nielsen research organisation says 93% of the population tune in; tv reaches 89%; the Smartphone comes next at 83%, then PCs at 50%, tv-connected devices at 44%, and tablets at 37%.

One over the eight

After all that hoo-ha about a Scottish Six, BBC Wales have come up with a cute manouevre - The Welsh Eight.

This BBC1 mini-bulletin from a broom cupboard - a straight read with CSO backgrounds - usually features 50 seconds on the main national stories from a spare London presenter, then 30 seconds, plus a weather line from a presenter the Nations and Regions. The Welsh idea is to do the whole lot from Cardiff. They'll all want it soon....

Monday, June 26, 2017


Ed Sheeran did well for BBC2 last night. The three-hour Glastonbury slot averaged 2.87m viewers, up from just over 2m for last year's closers, Coldplay, and Adele, who had the same average for Saturday night 2016.

The scheduling of Pitch Battle - time of year, availability of better music - drove it down below 2m on Saturday night, way behind The Voice Kids. The BBC has more music shows up its sleeve for Saturday nights. Oh dear.

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