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Friday, September 11, 2009

The thing that doesn't make sense about the BBC cutting money for "top talent"

Bruce Forsyth is the latest BBC star to announce that he's taken a pay cut. The explanation is the same as it was for Chris Moyles and Alan Davies. These are hard times.

There's nothing wrong with their action. It's the explanation that doesn't make sense. In this climate if you're running a commercial operation, or one that relies on conventional tax revenue, you're only too aware that times are hard. People running commercial media organisations are taking pay cuts because revenues are down. But I can't see why the BBC's revenues would be down. Their licence fee income is the same as it was pre-recession and - to their chagrin - much the same as it will be after. The only reason to cut Bruce Forsyth's fee now is because you can. And you could have done that before. But you didn't.