Media: The Word On The Street

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The Independent Culture
IT'S JOLLY hard filling pages over Christmas and New Year. What faces can you put in the paper to brighten up the readers' festive season? The Times has come up with a novel and very cheap answer. Snap your staff - the lot: editorial, advertising and promotions. And so several hundred puzzled employees were led out of Wapping on to a bit of muddy grass and photographed. The gripping result will be published over two pages on New Year's Day.

MEANWHILE, The Times editor, Peter Stothard, has been showing goodwill to his staff, albeit at a cost. He's had a stressful time of late with the Ashcroft case, but he still sent a Christmas card to all. Those woken by the postie to pay the postage will know the stress management's been under.

JANE ROOT, controller of BBC2, has assigned her most important commission. The new BBC2 "idents", the logos at the start of all programmes, have been designed in-house - unlike BBC1 which wants outside designers. But the BBC's in-house resources people sent some odd messages to Ms Root. The idents include a woodpecker; waves crashing over a "2", a petrol explosion; a venus fly trap, and a "2" on a kebab skewer consumed by flames.

THE APPOINTMENT of Radio 5 Live controller Roger Mosey to head BBC television news is leading to a scramble for his old job. Well fancied, and said to be strongly interested, are Today programme editor Rod Liddle; Radio Authority board member Sara Nathan; News 24 managing editor Chris Birkett; ex-London News Radio programme director John Simons; 5 Live deputy Mike Lewis; senior editor Bill Rogers, and three senior execs - Ceri Thomas, Mark Sandell and Steve Kyte.

AN ARTICLE in last week's media section quoted from an interview in The Spectator with BBC chairman Sir Christopher Bland: it suggested Sir Christopher watched relatively little telly. We have been asked to point out that The Spectator has since acknowledged that Sir Christopher did not say this, and has apologised to him.