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Torin Douglas Torin Douglas | 10:19 UK time, Monday, 4 October 2010

I'm the BBC's media correspondent and this is my brief selection of what's going on.

Francis Maude told The Times [subscription required] on Saturday that the Government is considering whether the BBC should carry free government advertisements, for campaigns against smoking, drinking or obesity. Last year, it paid £231 million to buy advertising space on commercial channels and internet sites.

Dan Sabbagh at Beehive City reacts to Mr Maude's suggestion saying it would damage ITV and commercial radio.

BBC unions called off a two-day strike which threatened to affect coverage of next week's Conservative Party conference.
The BBC reports journalists, technicians and other broadcast staff were due to walk out on 5 and 6 October in a pensions dispute.

The Daily Telegraph says the decision to call off the planned BBC strike follows "a second climbdown by the corporation's management on pensions reform which will cost licence fee payers up to £20million a year".

The Mail on Sunday says not all senior BBC managers have agreed to give up their pension top-ups despite the Corporation's claims. Director-general Mark Thompson told staff last week that he and senior executives would give up the supplements that will see his own total remuneration fall by 20 per cent, from £838,000 to £675,000.

Channel 4's Dispatches tonight carries more allegations that the former News of the Editor Andy Coulson knew about phone-hacking at the paper, reports the Guardian. Mr Coulson is now the Prime Minister's media adviser and continues to deny that he knew about any wrongdoing at the paper.

As Strictly Come Dancing returns, former judge Arlene Phillips tells the Guardian she's still haunted by her removal from the programme: "I feel like a divorcee who's not invited to events any more." The Daily Telegraph focuses on Felicity Kendall being older than Ann Widdecombe.

The Guardian reports Ofcom has cut ITV and Channel 5's analogue licence payments from £20 million to less than £100,000, recognising the reducing value of analogue spectrum and the cost of delivering public service obligations such as news.

The Financial Times reports [registration required] that the BBC has been outbid for Mad Men by BSkyB, which will show the drama series on a new channel called Sky Atlantic, also featuring shows from Sky's recent deal with HBO. The paper says the BBC has also been outbid for the World Athletics Championships by Channel 4.

There is plenty of advice in the papers for David Cameron on how he should proceed with the government's overhaul of the welfare system as shown in the BBC newspapers review.

Links in full


Times | We're all getting on well in Brokeback Mountain, Maude tells rightwingers
Dan Sabbagh | Beehive City | Government ads on the BBC; let's screw over ITV
BBC | Unions suspend BBC strike action
Telegraph | BBC strikes called off after £20million management climbdown
Jon Rees | Daily Mail | Majority of BBC bosses cling to pension top-ups
Nick Davies | Guardian | Andy Coulson 'listened to intercepted messages'
Laura Barton | Guardian | Arlene Phillips: Why I'm still haunted by Strictly
Victoria Ward | Telegraph | Older woman Felicity Kendal outshines Ann Widdecombe
Mark Sweney | Guardian | Ofcom slashes cost of ITV and Channel 5 regional broadcasting licences
Financial Times | Sky outbids BBC for rights to Mad Men
BBC | Newspaper review

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