BBC charter renewal may be delayed over stubbornly high executive pay

The BBC has found itself in the firing line of MPs once again over its failure to bring down high levels of executive pay amidst criticism that its current governance structure is not up to the job.

The cash-strapped public service broadcaster was savaged by the culture, media and sport committee, with particular ire being levelled at a lack of transparency at its commercial arm, notably a planned spin-off of its production units to form BBC Studios and the ineffectiveness of the BBC Trust.

In their report the committee found that ‘there appears to have been little or no restructuring, and there are still concerns about pay and management levels’ and floated the idea of broadening Ofcom’s remit to take on the Trust’s role in holding the BBC to account.

Conservative MP Jesse Norman, who chairs the committee, went on to add: “There is concern about pay levels and transparency in the commercial parts of the BBC, and that is an issue we may be looking at in the future with Studio.”

A BBC spokesperson commented: "We support the committee’s assertion that the BBC’s independence should be protected by taking the BBC out of the political cycle, and agree with its proposal for an eleven or twelve year charter. Like the committee, we think the BBC should be externally regulated – we believe that a unitary board would be good for the BBC and strengthen accountability."

In an effort to force through changes the committee went onto suggest that the BBC’s charter renewal, currently scheduled for the spring, may be delayed.

John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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