BBC on the brink: Boss issues rallying cry to staff to ‘fight’ for broadcaster’s future

BBC: Tim Davie says ‘we are vulnerable to groupthink’

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Director-general Tim Davie gave a speech to employees in which he warned the corporation must reform in order to stay relevant and continue to provide value for money. His speech came just hours after Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed she was launching a mid-term review of the BBC to look at whether the corporation is meeting its terms of operation as set out in the 10 year Royal Charter agreed in 2017.

The review will look at the impartiality of the broadcaster and whether it is representing the attitudes of Britons across the whole of the country.

Ms Dorries has been critical of the broadcaster in the past and has indicated her desire to scrap the TV licence fee funding model beyond 2027.

Speaking to staff this afternoon, Mr Davie said there was a need for the BBC to adapt to succeed in a busy, global market.

He said: “When I took this job I said that we needed to fight for something important: public service content and services, freely available universally, for the good of all.

“This fight is intensifying, the stakes are high.”

He unveiled his plan to move the broadcaster “digital first” and shift away from the linear TV offering it has traditionally had.

He said BBC Four and CBBC would stop linear broadcast and instead be available on iPlayer.

Meanwhile, BBC World News and BBC News Channel will merge to create a single 24-hour TV news channel serving both UK and international audiences.

He added: “This is our moment to build a digital-first BBC. Something genuinely new, a Reithian organisation for the digital age, a positive force for the UK and the world.

“Independent, impartial, constantly innovating and serving all.

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“A fresh, new, global digital media organisation which has never been seen before.

“Driven by the desire to make life and society better for our licence fee payers and customers in every corner of the UK and beyond.

“They want us to keep the BBC relevant and fight for something that in 2022 is more important than ever.

“To do that we need to evolve faster and embrace the huge shifts in the market around us.”

British households must pay £159 a year for a TV licence to watch the BBC’s services.

Ms Dorries said this morning she was launching the mid-term review of the broadcaster to ensure it was still delivering for the British people.

She explained she wanted to make the BBC more impartial, more accessible and more reflective” of the views of the country.

The Mid-Bedfordshire MP said: “The BBC is a world-class broadcaster but one which has to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape just like all broadcasters are.

“The Government is committed to ensuring the BBC is more impartial, more accessible and more reflective of our country’s variety of viewpoints.

“This review will build on our recent progress to make the BBC more accountable to those who fund it, level up people’s access to the job opportunities it offers and ensure it continues to work in the best interest of the public.”

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