Media: The Word On The Street

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The Independent Culture
THE ROYAL Television Society's monthly dinner for the television industry at the Bafta is rarely memorable but few will forget last Wednesday's in a hurry. Close on 200 TV professionals sat transfixed as the head of BBC resources, Rod Lynch, gave a speech of which, on one estimate, technical acronyms made up 60 per cent. No one had a clue what he meant, perhaps even Lynch. When he did mention the imminent privatisation of his fiefdom everyone was too dazed to notice. He did admit to being paid on a performance bonus but as BBC Resources is trading at 1 per cent below break even, must assume he won't see much of it this year.

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MEDIA BUYING agency MediaCom has found that TV audience research missed about 30 per cent of the total viewers of the first England game against Tunisia. MediaCom found 12 per cent of the auidience was at work and 15 per cent admitted to being in a pub or a club. Most worrying of all is the four per cent who said they couldn't remember or didn't know where they watched it. But the game was at 1.30pm, which left a lot of celebratory drinking time afterwards.

GOD MAKES work for idle hands, so we must assume that Kelvin MacKenzie (above) is twiddling his thumbs waiting for his Talk Radio deal to go through. That must be why he continues to call his old employees at Mirror Group about what's going into their papers. The Sunday People's Neil Wallis and The Mirror's Piers Morgan both take regular calls to talk about their paper's content. As MacKenzie is partnering News International in his bid for Talk, he is probably talking to his other protege, David Yelland at The Sun, too. The mind boggles. After years at Lve TV he's now editing three national newspapers at the same time.

IN A search for authenticity The Archers was recorded at the Glastonbury Festival, so that it could include a story line on young rebel Kate Aldridge going into labour while "enjoying the peace of the stone circle". The last time the Diary was at Glastonbury it was 5.30am and at least 400 people were dancing like wild things inside the stones. They strangely managed to do this for hours without any music to dance to. We can only hope that the picture opportunity set up by the BBC's PR departmentwas not ruined by the large numbers of people who had been reduced to bumbling idiots by the last day of the festival.

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WHO SAYS you can't be worthy and commercial at the same time? Marie Claire last week picked up an Amnesty International press award for an article on enforced birth control in Tibet. Of the three human rights articles shortlisted, Marie Claire had two nominations. Long mocked for its "I was a child bride in Sudan" editorial, in reality the magazine manages to get across serious issues while selling 450,000 copies a month and flogging lots of lipstick.

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THE EDITORIAL priorities of The Sunday Times last weekend would make even Andrew Neil blush. The newspaper devoted nothing on its front page to the historic elections in Northern Ireland and just half a page on the bottom of page two - the same size as a more prominent piece on redecorating the British Embassy in Washington.

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HELL HATH no fury like a monopolist threatened. Eurosport, the pan-European sports channel, has a programme showing the great goals of the week from across Europe. To do this it needs to buy from broadcasters with the rights to domestic tournaments. Most broadcasters are happy to make extra cash from selling days-old footage but BSkyB has let it be known that Eurosport has a snowball's chance in hell of getting goals from the Premiership. The reason, we must assume, is a rumour that Eurosport is planning its own UK-branded sports channel.

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