Muhammed Muheisen/AP
BBC director-general Mark Thompson

BBC Execs Rewarded for Year of Viewer Deception

July 11, 2008 06:00 AM
by Liz Colville
Several BBC executives received substantial pay increases and bonuses despite a slew of cases of viewer deception in BBC programming exposed in July 2007.

30-Second Summary

Controversial editing of footage of Queen Elizabeth and fake phone-ins to television and radio programs were among the charges the BBC faced in 2007, writes The Scotsman. Nevertheless, its “director of vision” Jana Bennett, received a £103,000 ($203,000) raise and several other directors received substantial bonuses and raises.

The publicly owned BBC is taking hits not only for awarding such bonuses and raises, but for offering salaries substantially higher than the country’s Lord Chief Justice or “other senior civil or military officials.”

“It's deeply odd that the BBC talks about public service in every single thing it does, but when it comes to remuneration it suddenly turns into a rampaging commercial organisation," Adrian Monck, head of journalism at City University in London, told The Scotsman.

Last July Peter Fincham, then the chief controller of BBC One, wrongly stated during a trailer for the station’s documentary “A Year With the Queen,” that the Queen had “walked out in a huff” during a photo shoot with Annie Liebovitz. In fact, the footage had been mistakenly edited to make it appear that way.

Members of Parliament called the BBC “deeply out of touch” after other numerous cases of viewer deception on BBC radio and television programs were found by audit firm Ofcom.

In response, BBC director-general Mark Thompson waived his own bonus for the fourth year in a row. Peter Fincham was subsequently fired, and director of audio and music Jenny Abramsky is leaving the company, though she still received a bonus for 2007-8.

Headline Link: ‘Fury as BBC chiefs pick up big bonuses after year of scandals’

Background: Scandals rock the BBC in 2007

Opinion & Analysis: Fake TV and the BBC


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines