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Thumbs up More BBC bashing from UK govt - 08-December-2009, 21:30

More BBC bashing from UK govt
Chris Forrester

The governance of the BBC is under growing pressure from the UK's cash-strapped government.

Today (Wednesday) there's to be a UK mini-budget, and it is expected that the BBC will again face calls to sell-off its profitable BBC Worldwide commercial arm. The government has listed BBC Worldwide as a public asset that it is considering selling. The BBC immediately retorted with a statement that BBC Worldwide is not up for sale.

Nevertheless, BBC Worldwide figures strongly in a list ("the Operational Efficiency Programme") published* this week, together with a detailed breakdown of its 7 core businesses. The document is pretty clear as to the government's intentions, saying: "The Government now expects the BBC to look more widely at the options for greater financial and operational separation, including a sale or partial sale. Alternatives to sale or partial sale might also include other structures that would potentially enable the introduction of external capital, broadening ownership of the asset and yet retaining the link to the BBC. Any ownership or alternative commercial options for the business would need to be considered in this context."

Away from parliament, however, the BBC is also expected to reveal the names of all those members of staff earning more than 150,000. It has already named 80 senior figures, usually department heads, earning more than 150,000 but according to London sources there are about 105 staffers earning more than this threshold.

*Read the UK's Government list, Page 84.

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