The Newsroom

BBC NEWS CUTS

Cuts reactivated - P43 onwards

NG
noggin Founding member
Let's not forget why these cuts are happening, which is for the most part because the government refuses to fund universal free TV licenses for the over 75s, but still insists that the BBC provides them! So this is a massive cut to the BBC by stealth, for which the government wants to blame the BBC itself.

The BBC might just survive until the mid-2020s but if the Conservatives get into government again in 2024 I think that might be the end.

The BBC are the ones choosing what to cut though, and time and time again it’s always stuff that nobody else does, whilst ringfencing populist mainstream output that everyone does


The populist mainstream stuff is what keeps the argument for universal funding in place. Making shows that nobody else makes, that few people watch, really doesn't help support the argument for everyone paying for it. Making popular entertainment and drama shows justifies the BBC's existence, and allows it to do the more niche stuff.
AN
Andrew Founding member Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
Let's not forget why these cuts are happening, which is for the most part because the government refuses to fund universal free TV licenses for the over 75s, but still insists that the BBC provides them! So this is a massive cut to the BBC by stealth, for which the government wants to blame the BBC itself.

The BBC might just survive until the mid-2020s but if the Conservatives get into government again in 2024 I think that might be the end.

The BBC are the ones choosing what to cut though, and time and time again it’s always stuff that nobody else does, whilst ringfencing populist mainstream output that everyone does


The populist mainstream stuff is what keeps the argument for universal funding in place. Making shows that nobody else makes, that few people watch, really doesn't help support the argument for everyone paying for it. Making popular entertainment and drama shows justifies the BBC's existence, and allows it to do the more niche stuff.

I'm not sure anyone is suggesting they move away from mainstream programming entirely (I'm certainly not) but that a drop in that area would be more likely to be less noticable/picked up by someone else more than cuts to core news services that is the foundation of the entire BBC.
NG
noggin Founding member
The BBC are the ones choosing what to cut though, and time and time again it’s always stuff that nobody else does, whilst ringfencing populist mainstream output that everyone does


The populist mainstream stuff is what keeps the argument for universal funding in place. Making shows that nobody else makes, that few people watch, really doesn't help support the argument for everyone paying for it. Making popular entertainment and drama shows justifies the BBC's existence, and allows it to do the more niche stuff.

I'm not sure anyone is suggesting they move away from mainstream programming entirely (I'm certainly not) but that a drop in that area would be more likely to be less noticable/picked up by someone else more than cuts to core news services that is the foundation of the entire BBC.


Many would argue with the statement that the core news service is the foundation of the entire BBC. Others would say popular entertainment and drama are just as important. Take either away and you are left with a poorer service.

The bottom line is that currently, each month, the BBC is losing an extra £40m due to the continue provision of free licences for over-75s. That's roughly the equivalent of Radio One or BBC Four's entire annual budget. Every single month.

Difficult decisions have to be taken.
Jeffmister, Custard56 and Brekkie gave kudos
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
AlexS posted:
Here we stand, with rumours that the BBC are to scrap Politics Live and The Andrew Neil Show.

What on Earth is going on inside the minds of BBC management?

Scrapping regional shows to make them more “newsy” with no double headed presentation which for some people, are apart of their lives and make them feel less lonely. Thousands of staff are going to loose their jobs.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the government isn’t exactly generous with its funding. But when a public service broadcaster cannot afford to run key services then is there a point in it anymore?

The BBC continues to run stuff that hardly rates and yet wants to scrap programmes that form a part in the countries political agenda. We will just be left with bloody Question Time and The Andrew Marr Show at this point. Don’t get me wrong, they are alright shows, but after all these years they get a bit boring.

Up pops Politics Live with a lovely new studio, graphics, music and format.

Up pops Andrew Neil with a show to hold politicians to account.

Down pops those shows because they can’t afford it. Ridiculous.

This post has no flow whatsoever and is just mostly me ranting but to think the BBC can’t afford to run these sort of things makes me question the point of a public broadcaster who can’t provide “unique” services.


It's political posturing. Government wants the BBC to save money AND to stop the BBC holding the government to account, hence they axe their two main political shows. The only real losers? The viewers - the electorate . We know that Bumbling Boris hates being criticised and being held up to attention politically (but loves attention away from that.)

The BBC are choosing to take the axe in this way. Time and time again the drama budget is either ring fenced or even enlarged despite being about the most non essential and least necessary part of the BBC's programming (although does typically appeal to those who are middle aged and middle class with relatively globalist views, just like the vast majority of those in upper BBC management). It would be quite possible for the BBC to continue with all of it's news and current affairs programming if they weren't more bothered about maintaining the programming the bosses watch and further boosting diversity in roles that are regularly seen or heard by viewers, an area in which just about every minority is at least represented in line with the population and many are significantly over represented, in an attempt to not do anything about diversity in back office and behind the scenes management roles which remains overwhelmingly white and middle class.

The BBC would die alot quicker if they stopped making drama than even if they axed regional news completely IMO. It is absolutely vital and the return on every £ spent to the UK economy will be quite significant. They also continue earning money long after they are broadcast.
Stay Local. Stay Safe. Stay Alive.
IT
itsrobert Founding member Granada North West Today

The populist mainstream stuff is what keeps the argument for universal funding in place. Making shows that nobody else makes, that few people watch, really doesn't help support the argument for everyone paying for it. Making popular entertainment and drama shows justifies the BBC's existence, and allows it to do the more niche stuff.

I'm not sure anyone is suggesting they move away from mainstream programming entirely (I'm certainly not) but that a drop in that area would be more likely to be less noticable/picked up by someone else more than cuts to core news services that is the foundation of the entire BBC.


Many would argue with the statement that the core news service is the foundation of the entire BBC. Others would say popular entertainment and drama are just as important. Take either away and you are left with a poorer service.

The bottom line is that currently, each month, the BBC is losing an extra £40m due to the continue provision of free licences for over-75s. That's roughly the equivalent of Radio One or BBC Four's entire annual budget. Every single month.

Difficult decisions have to be taken.

I completely agree with you noggin. TV Forum, particularly The Newsroom, is obviously going to prefer BBC News at the expense of everything else. But, correct me if I'm wrong, the BBC's mission is to 'inform, educate and entertain' - that remit would suggest to me that money should be spent in more or less equal proportion on news/current affairs, documentaries and drama/comedy/light entertainment.

Granted, they could probably cut back in all of those areas - and let's face it, BBC News has been excessively bloated for years now with a ridiculous array of different strands and programmes - but they should continue to provide a wide range of programming that appeals to the masses. Think how poorer TV would have been had the BBC not produced its fine sitcoms and dramas over the years. Imagine if we'd had to rely on ITV, especially for comedy. It would hardly be worth owning a TV. My view on this is that the BBC did become bloated and could stand to be cut back a little. But it needs to be cut back in the right way so as to protect its core functions in all areas.
japitts and Custard56 gave kudos
TR
trevormon London London
The trouble with justifying the BBC on the basis of the dramas it 'makes' is that in reality they are just paying independent production companies to come up with many of their biggest hits.

The Salisbury Poisonings, Normal People, Killing Eve, Fleabag, The Bodyguard - all paid for by the BBC but not made by them. In fact The Bodyguard was made by World Productions, an ITV subsidiary. So, if the the BBC went under many of these kind of shows would still get made but be shown elsewhere.

The same can't be said of the News and Current Affairs output.
SW
Steve Williams
The Salisbury Poisonings, Normal People, Killing Eve, Fleabag, The Bodyguard - all paid for by the BBC but not made by them. In fact The Bodyguard was made by World Productions, an ITV subsidiary. So, if the the BBC went under many of these kind of shows would still get made but be shown elsewhere.


I don't think this would be the case at all. Michaela Coel has talked about I May Destroy You (which is an indie production) and said she did it for the Beeb because they gave her total freedom to make it how she wanted, and she's said that she turned down Netflix because they wanted too much control over it. So without the Beeb that series wouldn't have been made, certainly not in the way the talent wanted to make it.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today
The trouble with justifying the BBC on the basis of the dramas it 'makes' is that in reality they are just paying independent production companies to come up with many of their biggest hits.

The Salisbury Poisonings, Normal People, Killing Eve, Fleabag, The Bodyguard - all paid for by the BBC but not made by them. In fact The Bodyguard was made by World Productions, an ITV subsidiary. So, if the the BBC went under many of these kind of shows would still get made but be shown elsewhere.

No, they just wouldn't get commissioned as the money and willingness isn't there to make them commercially.
Stay Local. Stay Safe. Stay Alive.
TR
trevormon London London

No, they just wouldn't get commissioned as the money and willingness isn't there to make them commercially.


I think you underestimate how much money is out there from the big players and the willingness to snap up a ready made hit. Whether it's Amazon signing up Phoebe Waller Bridge for $20m a year, Netflix taking over the making of Top Boy from Channel 4, Channel 4 buying up Bake Off after the BBC refused to pay double for it, ITV taking on The Voice from the BBC etc.

The Bodyguard final epsisode got 17 million viewers for the BBC, the record for any UK TV drama. Netflix bought the streaming rights (from ITV Studios who made it, rather than the BBC) and I don't think there would be any lack of enthusiasm from them to make a follow up series if the BBC didn't want it. The money is there too with Netflix spending billions of dollars just on marketing alone. They loved Top Boy so much there were billboards up in TImes Square.

That's drama and entertainment though. Unfortunately I don't think Netflix will be interested in an Andrew Neill fronted political programme. My point is that the BBC can make something like that without worrying if it is a commercial success - which is their unique selling point and perhaps what they should concentrate on.
LV
LondonViewer London London
There’s definitely a balance to strike between mass appeal shows and content that the free market are not providing. I can’t see any justification in cutting back on regional tv & radio, whilst paying hundreds of millions for sports rights for example. No reason one of the kids services couldn’t fill BBC Two daytime hours etc. Original kids programming is a hallmark of PSBs across the world and often mixed in on a general ent channel. Even in news - do we need a part time domestic news channel in a world of news apps or could more be done with BBC World? Cutting local tv & radio when the market has failed is just the worst proposal, in my opinion.
BR
Brekkie Wales Wales Today

No, they just wouldn't get commissioned as the money and willingness isn't there to make them commercially.


I think you underestimate how much money is out there from the big players and the willingness to snap up a ready made hit. Whether it's Amazon signing up Phoebe Waller Bridge for $20m a year, Netflix taking over the making of Top Boy from Channel 4, Channel 4 buying up Bake Off after the BBC refused to pay double for it, ITV taking on The Voice from the BBC etc.

The Bodyguard final epsisode got 17 million viewers for the BBC, the record for any UK TV drama. Netflix bought the streaming rights (from ITV Studios who made it, rather than the BBC) and I don't think there would be any lack of enthusiasm from them to make a follow up series if the BBC didn't want it. The money is there too with Netflix spending billions of dollars just on marketing alone. They loved Top Boy so much there were billboards up in TImes Square.

That's drama and entertainment though. Unfortunately I don't think Netflix will be interested in an Andrew Neill fronted political programme. My point is that the BBC can make something like that without worrying if it is a commercial success - which is their unique selling point and perhaps what they should concentrate on.

Phoebe Waller Bridge wouldn't have had the opportunity to sign a $20m deal without Fleabag on BBC1 and though we can't say either way if The Bodyguard would ever have been made the fact it got 17m on the BBC is a story in itself - Peter Levy has never come close.
Stay Local. Stay Safe. Stay Alive.
SW
Steve Williams
The trouble with justifying the BBC on the basis of the dramas it 'makes' is that in reality they are just paying independent production companies to come up with many of their biggest hits.

The same can't be said of the News and Current Affairs output.


The other general point is that News and Current Affairs is also required to commission shows from indies, so in fact much of the News and Current Affairs output does, indeed, involve paying independent production companies to come up with many of their biggest hits. Question Time is an obvious example, many of the long form documentaries, and, indeed, some of the regional political programmes.

It's also unfair to say the Beeb are reliant on indies for hits in drama and entertainment because they're obliged by law to commission a percentage of their output from indies. The Beeb could make 100% of its drama and entertainment in-house, like it used to do in the seventies, but it's not permitted to do so.
Custard56 and valley gave kudos

Newer posts