'The BBC is an unhappy place. Morale at ITV is low.' Greg Dyke launches a broadside

Greg Dyke, the former director- general of the BBC and a rumoured bidder for ITV, has launched an astonishing attack on both broadcasters.

Greg Dyke, the former director- general of the BBC and a rumoured bidder for ITV, has launched an astonishing attack on both broadcasters.

Cost-cutting at the BBC and the way ITV is being managed come under fire in an interview he gave to the trade magazine Marketing Week. Both organisations are suffering from "low morale", he says.

Mr Dyke, who quit the BBC after its news-gathering procedures were criticised in the Hutton inquiry, says in the interview that the recent cuts by his successor, Mark Thompson, are "destroying the morale of the organisation". This "must affect programme quality," he claims, adding: "It is not something that I would have done."

He continues: "I know the BBC is clearly an unhappy place at the moment. Morale at ITV isn't much better either."

Mr Dyke was chief executive of LWT, one of the companies that now makes up ITV, until it was taken over by Granada. Charles Allen, the chief executive of ITV, was one of the senior executives at Granada at the time of the takeover and it is known that he and Mr Dyke do not get on well.

Mr Dyke's criticism of ITV goes even deeper than his attack on the BBC. "ITV has to do a lot," he says. "It has had a pretty rough five years in terms of ratings and revenue. Between 1999 and now, it has lost a third of its audience - it is in dramatic decline. It is not inevitable ... the BBC hasn't lost at that rate, nor have Channel 4 or Five."

Mr Dyke's comments come as he is rumoured to be part of an investment group working on a bid for ITV. Since leaving the BBC, he has been signed up as an adviser to the private equity firm Apax, which has a track record of media deals. Despite City rumours, Apax and Mr Dyke have said nothing about any interest in ITV.

Neither the BBC nor ITV wanted to reply to Mr Dyke's comments.

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