Heads on the block
The ongoing discontent over 6 Music and Asian Network has led some angry licence fee payers to call for cuts at the very top of the corporation. The intrepid BBC reporter Simon Reeve seemed to show the bosses the way last night on BBC Two with a timely visit to the Mexican city of Culiacan, known outside of its tourist information office as “the decapitation capital of the world”.
Those BBC incisions are being mirrored less controversially at ITV, from where an email reaches me describing the full-scale retreat of the broadcaster’s once noisy communications team. “Due to severe cut backs during 2009 we do not have a front desk to call,” says one PRO apologetically, directing questions to a general email address.
Over at GMTV, staffers are unconvinced by the claims of their new ITV bosses that the show will become “more newsy”. Why then, they ask, have they ditched the newsiest presenters Penny Smith, below, (who is leaving) and John Stapleton (who is to become a special correspondent)? GMTV stalwarts are even more alarmed by the possibility that they may have to share a studio with daytime show This Morning. With one-fifth of the GMTV team facing job losses, ITV daytime chief Alison Sharman has chosen tonight as a good moment for a staff drinks party in the second-floor café bar. “It will give us a great opportunity to get to know each other better,” she tells them cheerfully in an email.
A new book arrives on my desk, Journalism: A Beginner’s Guide by Sarah Niblock, the head of journalism at Brunel University. On the cover of this cub reporter’s handbook is a picture of a journo clutching a camera while lying prostrate in the desert alongside a tank. The cats up trees and council planning meetings will have to go unreported.Reuse content