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BBC new DG sets out priorities for Corporation

Posted on: September 3, 2020 by Ian Murray

The new BBC Director General Tim Davie has unveiled his top priorities for the broadcaster now that he has taken the helm.

In a message to staff, Mr Davie said he would be focussing on renewing the BBC’s commitment to impartiality as well as focussing on unique, high impact content.

His other priorities include ensuring BBC online products are world class and building on the broadcaster’s commercial income.

But Mr Davie added he did not wish to see the BBC become a subscription service.

The Director General said:

“It’s an honour to be taking the helm of the BBC at an important time. Today I have been in Cardiff meeting our teams and taking the opportunity to speak to all staff about our priorities for the future.

“My guiding principle is that we are a BBC for all – a universal public service to serve and represent everyone in every part of the UK. Our focus must be on making sure we deliver outstanding and unique value to all audiences – those who pay for us and are in effect our customers – in return for their licence fee.

“Today I have set out four priorities we have identified with the aim of ensuring that all audiences get significantly more value from the BBC:

 

  1. Renew our commitment to impartiality– Many feel the BBC does not get the world from their point of view. Others question the need for impartial news at all. We will recommit to and champion impartiality and ensure diverse voices across the BBC.

 

  1. Focus on unique, high impact content– The BBC must be distinctive. That means making the choice to prioritise higher impact content over spreading ourselves too thinly. We recognise we have real budgetary challenges versus the big US players. The focus must be on where we can differentiate ourselves from the rest.

 

  1. Extract more from online– The BBC has great online products, but what we offer doesn’t add up to more than the sum of its parts. Our products have to be world-class. Our online offer needs to be joined up across everything we do. It needs to feel indispensable.

 

  1. Build commercial income– Commercial growth is essential. We need global commercial investment to help fund world-class work and create the most valuable intellectual property. And we need the commercial dividend to reinvest to deliver even more value to the public.

 

“Alongside this, we will deliver organisational reform to create a modern, highly efficient BBC that truly reflects Britain.”

“The BBC is an organisation that truly matters. The UK’s creative industries have been a global economic success because of a rather enlightened blend of the free market and smart universal interventions like the BBC and our landmark museums, open to all. It is a brilliant national success that future generations deserve to benefit from. On a global stage, the BBC provides invaluable journalism and information during uncertain times.

“But there are challenges ahead. We need to keep reforming with urgency so that we are trusted, relevant and indispensable in the digital age.”

The Director General added: “For the avoidance of doubt, I do not want a subscription BBC that serves the few. We could make a decent business out of it, and I suspect it could do quite well in certain postcodes, but it would make us just another media company serving a specific group. The UK’s creative industries have been a global economic success because of a rather enlightened blend of the free market and smart universal interventions like the BBC, and our landmark museums… open to all. It is a brilliant national success that future generations deserve to benefit from.

“We can be proud of so much that we do here but, going forward, working at the BBC will be different. I don’t believe this is just a challenge for the leadership or a problem with one division or another. It is a challenge for us all.”

Mr Davie’s full message to BBC staff can be read here.