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Torin Douglas Torin Douglas | 10:45 UK time, Friday, 8 October 2010

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

The Financial Times [registration required] and the Guardian report that Mark Thompson, the BBC director-general, has called on the government to intervene in News Corp's attempt to take full control of British Sky Broadcasting. In an interview on US television, he agreed there was potential for an abuse of power by Rupert Murdoch's UK companies if BSkyB came under the same ownership as News International, the country's largest newspaper group.

The Times says [subscription required] the BBC faces a renewed threat of disruption to coverage of George Osborne's spending review after pension talks with the National Union of Journalists collapsed yesterday. Jeremy Dear, the general secretary, will announce a new ballot of the union's 4,000 BBC members today.

Meanwhile Bectu has told its members in an email that it won't strike that day.

Mark Lawson suggested in Thursday's Guardian that a BBC strike on the day of the Comprehensive Spending Review might be welcomed by David Cameron.

The Times says [subscription required] a senior BBC executive who was exposed trying to hide the number of staff earning more than £100,000 has resigned. Robert Johnston, the reward director, issued an apology after his e-mail was published in April. The Times quotes an email from the head of BBC People, saying Mr Johnston "has decided it is time to move to a less high-profile and demanding role."

Brand Republic says Francis Maude, the Cabinet Secretary, has opened talks with the BBC, urging it to run some Government ad campaigns free of charge to cut Whitehall adspend. He raised the idea at the Tory Conference, after floating it last weekend in The Times.

The BBC's newspaper review shows former Labour Minister Lord Hutton receives praise in many papers for his review of public sector pensions.

Links in full

Financial Times | BBC chief calls for scrutiny of BSkyB deal
Patrick Foster | Guardian | Rupert Murdoch-owned BSkyB open to abuse of power, says BBC boss
Patrick Foster | Spending review coverage by BBC is under renewed threat
Mark Lawson | Guardian | Why Cameron could be praying for the BBC strike to go ahead
Times | BBC executive who tried to hide high salary figures resigns
Brand Republic | Government plots COI ads on BBC
BBC | Newspaper review

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