Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Cuts to the BBC Midlands

‘Broadcast economics gone crazy’ and ‘self-defeating’ says Hall Green MP, Roger Godsiff on cuts to BBC Midlands

Birmingham MP, Roger Godsiff, believes that it is: ‘Self defeating to dismantle capacity in the second city in the country and move it to Bristol’.

Mr Godsiff has written to Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, regarding the reported intentions of the BBC to end the production of Factual television and radio in Birmingham by the end of 2012 and to move the majority of programmes that are currently made in Birmingham to Bristol.

He commented: ‘Birmingham is in the heart of the country whereas Bristol, although a pleasant and attractive place, is most certainly not in the centre of the country’.

 ‘More practically, the BBC will have to pay out significant relocation or redundancy packages to around 100 members of staff. They will also be abandoning the state of the art technical facilities at the Mailbox where the BBC is situated in Birmingham that cost £40 million to install.  The lease for the Mailbox has no break clause and the BBC will be paying 2.4 million pounds a year to rent the Mailbox space, whether there are any people in it or not. This is broadcast economics gone crazy and a complete waste of the licence fee’.

Mr Godsiff thinks that before you take a knife to regional programming the first savings should surely be targetted at the BBC’s London headquarters and the tiers of staff which service the centre and the expenditure of huge sums of monies on ‘celebrities’ such as the £2 million spent on Jeremy Paxman and the millions that were formerly spent on Jonathon Ross, former presenters of the ‘One Show’ as well as Gary Lineker and his pundits on the Saturday night football highlights show.

Roger Godsiff concluded: ‘The BBC should be setting higher standards and you ought to have up and coming talents in the BBC capable of taking the place of the millionaire celebrities.  If not then senior management are not doing their job’.

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