BBC chief threatens to sack executives who miss targets

BBC chairman Michael Grade yesterday warned that the corporation's executives could be fired if their department failed to meet performance targets.

BBC chairman Michael Grade yesterday warned that the corporation's executives could be fired if their department failed to meet performance targets.

The BBC is currently drafting "service licences'' for all of its channels and services, setting out specific budget, remit and performance targets.

Asked what would happen if a department failed to meet these requirements, Mr Grade replied: "You fire people.''

Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention, he warned that funding could be taken away from failing channels and services.

As chairman, Mr Grade does not have direct responsibility for hiring and firing executives, which is the domain of the director general Mark Thompson. But he made it clear that the board of governors could put pressure on the management to penalise those who failed to make the grade.

"I don't fire the controller of BBC1 or the controller of Radio 3 or whatever service. I hire and fire the director general. That's it. But if there's a problem with a service, the director general has a conversation. You request and then you require."

Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, also speaking at the convention, suggested that the Government is considering establishing the BBC by an Act of Parliament rather than its current 10-year rolling Royal Charter - an idea put forward by the Commons Select Committee on Culture and Media in its recent report on the future of the BBC.

She also spelled the end of a BBC governance system "more suited to some kind of patrician government".

She set out three other systems of governance that could be introduced when the BBC's charter is renewed in 2006.

The first of these, the option the BBC is pressing for, is to keep the existing board of governors but to make its workings more transparent.

At the other end of the spectrum, the BBC could be overseen by an external body - Ofcom or an Ofbeeb - focusing purely on regulation and acting as a "court of appeal'' beyond the BBC.

The third option is the idea of a BBC trust or commission which would embody BBC values and guard the licensee, but exist separately from the BBC's management structure.

Mr Grade urged the Culture Secretary to include a "governance protocol" in the BBC's next charter, enshrining the independence of the BBC's governors from its management.

Mr Grade also said he wanted corporate-style oversight of Britain's public broadcaster including a virtual shareholder meeting open to the millions of households whose TV licence fees provide nearly all of the BBC's funding.

The BBC board of governors "is working on plans for a virtual AGM [annual general meeting] enabling every licence-payer who is interested to debate and interrogate the BBC's performance over the previous year," Mr Grade said.

"It's clear the governors represent the interest of the BBC's licence fee-payers, the BBC's shareholders if you like, and there are something like 24 million of them."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
News
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Life and Style
Mark's crab tarts are just the right size
food + drinkMark Hix cooks up some snacks that pack a punch
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Brand Marketing Manager - Essex - £45,000 + £5000 car allowance

£40000 - £45000 per annum + car allowance: Ashdown Group: Senior Brand Manager...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer /.NET Software Developer

£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer /.NET Software ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

Guru Careers: Technical Operations Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical Ope...

Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect