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How should the BBC spend the licence fee?

10:27 UK time, Friday, 26 February 2010

Union leaders will today meet the BBC director general, Mark Thompson, to discuss planned cuts. Do you think the BBC needs to downsize?

Broadcasting union Bectu and the National Union of Journalists fear up to 600 jobs could be lost after it was announced that the BBC website would be scaled back, and 6 Music and Asian Network faced closure.

Mr Thompson says compulsory redundancy would be kept to a minimum. The plans are to go through public consultation.

Do you agree the BBC needs to review some of its output? Are these the right areas to target, or should others be addressed first? What programmes and services do you value most?

Read a selection of your comments on this story.


Page 1 of 28

  • Comment number 1.

    In regards to Radio far too much emphasis is given to "Black Music" with an entire sister station of radio 1 dedicated to it (1Extra). Such minor stations should be cut to concentrate on the good quality produced by Radio 1-5 (and for crying out loud get Radio 5 onto FM!)

    As for TV BBC4 should be cut as it is a waste of money. The money saved from reducing US Imports should be put into producing more higher quality programming for BBC1 (and HD) such as Rome, Robin Hood etc.

  • Comment number 2.

    How about focusing on the TV tax-paying public instead of overseas. That would be a good start. Also, how about going back to great scripts and strong actors over special effects and gimmickry in your programming?

  • Comment number 3.

    Listen to the 5live phone-in by clicking on this link:

  • Comment number 4.

    We had 4 BBC radio stations for years. I cannot understand the need for so many others.

    Do we need BBC 3 and 4. Maybe one could go and a better service is provided on the one remaining as I enjoy the need comedy programmes and Being Human started on BBC 3.

    Please leave the web-site as it is!

    Savings can be made by cutting the numbers of senior managers on huge salaries.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hello people.

    The management should be cut back and a greater proportion of the money spent on programme-making.

    We must treasure the BBC other wise.........
    ...I have lived in North America and have watched television and listened to wireless broadcasts there.

  • Comment number 6.

    I see you've cut back already as far as HYS is concerned.

  • Comment number 7.

    If the BBC are serious in wanting to make savings then it needs to look at the salaries of executives and highly paid performers.

  • Comment number 8.

    I truly believe that the BBC has become such a 'den' for 'luvvies', costs far too much of taxpayers' money and has become a biased political mouthpiece for the Labour Party that it should be closed 100%.

    It used to be a national treasure, a model for state broadcasting companies all over the world; but not now. It has served its purpose, been good for many decades but time to move on. Close it and save the money ( J Ross is a classic example ! )

  • Comment number 9.

    Think it's about time for a root and branch review of what the BBC is for and how it should spend our hard earned. The current philosophy of trying to be all things to all people cannot continue as the public no longer support this view and without public support, a publicly funded organisation has no mandate!

  • Comment number 10.

    Since you kndly ask which BBC services I most value, I used to value Have Your Say.
    Now it is an indigestible stream of prose.

  • Comment number 11.

    I really don't like this new HYS layout.

    Maybe the BBC could save money by not paying exhorbitant sums to people like J Ross Esq. I know that we are told he's extremely popular, an icon of broadcasting, but so far I've only met a very few people who enjoy watching his show or listing to his radio show on a Saturday. Most just find him irritating and narcissistic. There are others if I were to spend time and effort thinking about it but Jonathan Ross is the most prominent. Also there could be savings made by axing things like 6 music and other minor radio stations.

  • Comment number 12.

    The BBC MUST cater for its majority audience if it is to survive in its present forn.
    This does necessarily not include those "fuddy duddies" who want "advert free quality television and radio" but expect other people (who don't) TO PAY FOR IT via their licence fees.
    In these days of multi channel, rather expensive subscription channels, the licence fee is a bit anachronistic; it should have been dispensed with years ago, and the BBC funded with advertising or simply by public taxation.
    It is unacceptable now, if we wish to view broadcast television at all, we have to pay this increasingly expensive television tax, which is now more than the cost of some smaller modern brand new receivers.
    Having said all that, the BBC do make some SUPERB programmes, including Dr. Who which for us, is almost worth the licence fee on its own! It is these popular programmes it MUST continue with, and not to pander to minoritity audiences.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    Now what could the Beeb cut...?

    Unnecessary layers of management?

    Diversity/equality etc. co-ordinators and other PC non-jobs?

    Outrageous levels of management expenses?

    Ridiculous payments to equally ridiculous so-called "stars"?

    Crazy levels of "Consultant" contracts?

    Good Lord, couldn't possibly cut any of those - the Beeb's a broadcaster so it's to be expected that cuts will fall on programme makers & broadcasting technicians, isn't it?

  • Comment number 15.

    The BBC should cut back on services it provides specifically for a tiny minority.

    For example, is Asian Network really worth the cost, when it benefits less than 10% of the population?

    Also, I think the BBC should get rid of the CBeebies channel. It is nothing short of a diversity-and-equality-fest, with its main objective appearing not to be entertaining pre-school children, but rather trying to condition them to be good little liberal-leftists.

  • Comment number 16.

    Well, I guess the rehash of this HYS site cost something, no? Could there be a VOTE on returning to the last format?

  • Comment number 17.

    Much of what the BBC produces would not be commercially viable on sky or itv and yet is absolutely vital broadcasting for people of various ages.

    For those who chose not or cannot pay sky subscriptions, the BBC is a invaluable source of knowledge and entertainment.

    Anyone who doubts this by complaining about programmes such as 'strictly come dancing' need only go to the factual catagory on iplayer and see the vast array of very decent programmes available each week.

    It is imperative that whatever cuts are made, they be considered very carefully. We're in danger of populist knee jerk cuts from a conservative government.

    The BBC is something to be proud of.

  • Comment number 18.

    I highly value the BBC Ouch Disability website and would hate to think of that service being diluted or worst still axed. I think that the future of BBC 3 should be closely reviewed. In my opinion a plus one channel, would perhaps be of more value to the vast majority of licence payers. Appart from that I hope that BBC services and programmes remain essentially unchanged.

  • Comment number 19.

    it pains me to actually agree with richard littlejohn, but bbc3 and 4 do fulfil the remit to provide quality programming. they should stay. news24 can go. there are plenty of other sources. And sports coverage never takes into account that there are plenty of people who don't like sport. Do you really need to send so many people to the winter olympics?

  • Comment number 20.

    Just get rid of BBC Three and put the decent programming onto a mainstream channel. Family Guy is the kind of show that deserves to be on primetime BBC1 or BBC2, most other things on BBC Three just simply shouldn't exist.

    Also, stop using analogue radio and use digital instead. I'm sure that would save some cash given the cheaper operating costs of a digital system. It's not like digital radios are expensive, anyway.

  • Comment number 21.

    Stop making dumb alterations to something that already works.
    This new HYS is rubbish!

  • Comment number 22.

    Do you agree the BBC needs to review some of its output? Yes I do

    Should it be looking at other areas to cut rather than these? How about cutting back on the excessive salaries it pays some of its staff ie the likes of Jonathan Ross et al.

    What programmes and services do you value most? I personally value good drama's, documentaries and nature programmes.

  • Comment number 23.

    This cannot be allowed to happen.

    The commercial alternatives whose toes 6 Music is supposedly treading on are just not there in terms of quality or quantity.

    Apart from which, 6 Music is a prime driver in the take-up of digital radio.

    As I understand it, the money saved by axing the station is negligible, equivalent to the salaries of say Chris Moyles and Fearne Cotton. Which rather suggests are more expedient solution...

  • Comment number 24.

    6 Music is the only reason I have a digital radio. As far as I'm concerned they can cut back anything else.

  • Comment number 25.

    While I agree that radio, the website and imported programming could easily be cut back, I disagree with the idea that live sport should be cut back. It's already a nightmare trying to watch football in this country without throwing money at a certain business empire- enough license fee payers want to watch football to justify the expense.

    The BBC website is far too sprawling. It has massive areas that are never read or updated. So long as the news output is not affected, I would be happy to see large areas of it disappear.

  • Comment number 26.

    'The Times claims the BBC will two radio stations and scale back its website. Does the BBC need to downsize?'
    not in the grammer area I hope!!!

  • Comment number 27.

  • Comment number 28.

    You have to look at the minority services with limited audiences that the BBC provide, this would have to include the BBC world service. Then start looking at reducing complex administration and perhaps giving more and more responsibility to regions and let them decide what stays and goes.

  • Comment number 29.

    Where should the cutbacks be?
    Limos for Senior staff.
    The amount of staff sent to cover sports and Foreign assighnments.
    BBC3 (waste of space)
    Never even heard of BBC6 till Today so your promo Staff can go.
    The amount of News Staff you seem to have who just push the MMGW theory on BBC Breakfast (note the word News has been dropped because their is less and less on the show)
    The true fact is their probably no need to cut the shows, just cut the jobs,pay and perks of the Senior Managers and The Board of Grovellers.Sorry Govenors.

  • Comment number 30.

    I would suggest leaving all local radio to the commercial networks and combining Radio 1& 2 and Radio 3&4. As for TV, fewer silly game shows (commercial networks again)and combine BBC 3&4. Keep this website as it is but bring back the old HYS!

  • Comment number 31.

    Foreign services that are essentially government propaganda aimed overseas.

    Eastenders - a low grade TV tranquilliser for the masses

    The BBC Asian network - no special privileges

    Translation services - broadcast and publish in English

    BBC Alba the Gaelic channel - unless it's funded by Scottish licence fee payers exclusively

    Regional services - aimed at the "English regions" that no-one has voted for.

    Lose the moderators and rely on peer moderation on forums. We're quite capable of flagging up racist or offensive comments ourselves.

    Unnecessary graphics like the Olympics intro and The BBC one branding circle. Cost a fortune and are not needed.

    There you go, that's a start. You could save a fortune there and have enough left over to create a BBC England.

  • Comment number 32.

    Radio 6 fills a void that no commercial station chooses to broadcast. It has incredible access to all the BBC musical archives and an excellent choice of presenters, producers and musical formats. It would be an absolute catastrophe to loose this great resource. Personally I am also particularly fond of the Asian Network as well.
    The other channels are full of American imports why should the Beeb have to do the same.
    As to what and were to cut or downgrade perhaps salary cuts for those earning 100k plus per year.
    Whatever happens Radio 6 is a hidden gem. Promote it heavily, give it FM transmission and watch the ratings and exposure heavily increase.

  • Comment number 33.

    2 presenters for most news broadcasts plus special reporters.
    When did you last have a class delivered by two teachers, or when did you visit your 2 GP's for their opinion.
    Reading autocues isn't hard work - just one newsreader required.
    Weather forecasts dont need to be on location - we all know what snow, sun, rain, wind looks like.
    The BBC has lost touch with the UK - and they are sailing on a different agenda of totally PC rules with continual celebrations of cultural diversity and raising awareness of non-issues. Most of us don't really care that much and just get on with our lives, without the intervention of on-the-spot reporters.

  • Comment number 34.

    Well "Have your say" could be scrapped for a start.
    fewer radio stations seems sensible, cutting back on web prescence less so since the internet is an expanding medium unlike radio which is contracting. Having said that, if there are areas of the website which are underused or not particularly relevant then they could go.

  • Comment number 35.

    the BBc should cut back on wages and costs paying some on inexcess of £1 million is too much

  • Comment number 36.

    The BBC is worth its weight in gold, but I do wonder for example, why it needs to employ TWO newsreaders each night on the BBC East Midlands Today main bulletin and no less than FIVE Weather reporters in rotation.
    Overstaffing, me-thinks.

  • Comment number 37.

    It should cut back on trying to mimic commercial stations on Radio and TV, the BBC use to be an high quality institution known for producing good documentaries and period dramas etc, these day’s it’s neither fish nor fowl, the radio side of things is lamentable, radio 2 tries to mimic commercial radio with looped chart music and trivial chat, Jimmy Young god rest his soul was binned so Jeremy Vine could babble Puerile rubbish at us whilst thinking he clever when his far from it, even the flag ship R4 has gone all silly with such tripe as up share down shares and really non funny so called comedy. The crazy thing is it pays incredible salaries to buffoons who are more ego than substance, All this does is make things go down hill further it reinforces the decline by always paying more for bigger and bigger ego’s who do more damage.

  • Comment number 38.

    Radio 6, and probably Radio 7, though I am not so familiar with the latter, represent an oasis of quality in a sea of mediocre, lowest-common denominator, populist broadcasting (Radio 1 is an example of this).
    Please swim against this tide of dumbing down and give intelligent people the radio they deserve.

  • Comment number 39.

    Why not abolish the BBC all together? It has become completely biased and was officially criticised over their nonsensical climate change coverage. Surely the Labour party have their own spin doctors without the BBC promoting them too. The last entertaining show the BBC produced was 'The Office.' How long ago was that?

  • Comment number 40.

    This isn't probably the most palatable suggestion but I'd like to see a cut back of the numerous BBC "local" stations. On a recent trip up the M1 I was horrified to see how many diferent BBC stations I found on FM.

    Secondly given the BBC has an income of £3.4 billion the aim must be to save 2% year on year for 5 years.

    Thirdly I like to see COMPLETE transparancy concerning the BBC pensions and its liabilities. By doing this we the licence payer would see what percentage of the fee is going to BBC pensions. (its rather like the fact that 20% of council tax goes to local civil service pensions).

    Finally get RID of EASTENDERS. This awful programme does nothing for society except depress people.

  • Comment number 41.

    Lamentable. BBC6 is the most innovative and interesting radio station on the air, covering everything from the popular to the obscure. If 'quality not quantity' is the aim then I would have thought there is a case for shutting Radio 1 and BBC 3. Surely the BBC should be supporting this sort of programming rather than trying to compete with commercial stations. There must be other areas where considerable savings can be made, while I enjoy the odd coverage of winter sports the Olympic coverage seemed to be out of all proportion to the number of people who probably watched it. How much did this strategic review cost by the way?

  • Comment number 42.

    Concentrate on quality - be it drama or documentary or child-focussed entertainment or whatever - and remember that as a tax-funded organisation rather than an advertising-funded one, you have both the freedom and the responsibility to produce that which is excellent and innovative, rather than mere light entertainment for the masses.

  • Comment number 43.

    Please focus on quality, not quantity.

    The BBC seems obsessed with reach in terms of channels and platforms, and this can only be to the detriment of quality (given the finite budget)

    The lack of quality programming is not compensated by the fact you have a great website for the programmes, or it is available on everything from an HDTV to a mobile phone.

    Cut back on the channels, the platforms and the webpages - and just give us great TV programmes.

  • Comment number 44.

    What the BC should not have done is destroyed the old HYS site and replaced it with the blog monstrosity it is now. The recommend button made it so much better although it could have been improved further with like / dislike buttons instead. Often instead of repeating comments made by others visitors to the site would just click on the recommend button of comments that said what they intended to say, thus making it easier to read.

    The layout and ability to list by either most recent or most popular were far better than this approach where the user has to scroll down lists of comments.

    Instead of wasting money changing the old HYS site the BBC could have vastly cut down on moderation costs by simply changing the moderation status of the site from pre-moderated to reactive moderation, only moderating comments that have had complaints. But then the BBC would have lost a lot of control over the debates by making them free debates.

  • Comment number 45.

    Hi, Victoria, BBC News website here. BBC 6music is a trending topic on Twitter:

  • Comment number 46.

    I'm happy to see that this kind of examination of budget vs. service is being examined; the NHS, police services and education authorities should take note.

    I'm 100% behind the idea of not chasing market share for tabloid broadcasting including, docusoaps, quiz games and "search for a star" style rubbish.

    The BBC also has a responsibility to be a moderating influence on celebrity salaries. Jonathan Ross' £18 million three year contract did not in my opinion represent good value for money. What is wrong with unknown talent?

    Hopefully in the future the BBC will concentrate on high quality drama, factual content, comedy and broadcasting innovation; areas in which it has always excelled.

  • Comment number 47.

    Will all those responsible for the recent emasculation of HYS please take one step forward.

  • Comment number 48.

    Unnecessary website re-vamps?

  • Comment number 49.

    Lets start with the BBC Trust, a body that can be relied upon to represent the political establishment and feather its own existance with plush offices, fat salaries and no doubt lavish expences. Well the licence fee payer is there to foot the bill and its not as if we have any say or choice is it?

  • Comment number 50.

    How about the BBC address its policies on repeats? The Beeb make or co-produce really good shows like Rome, Band of brothers, Spooks, Life on Mars, Dr Who etc that are shown once then sold off never to be seen again and instead Dads Army, Open all hours (which wasn't that funny originally) and Porridge are on constantly. These shows are so old that almost all the cast has now died.

    I'd rather like to see Life on Mars again but having paid to have it made originally I don't see why I should pay again to get it on DVD or digital. Showing your best (and most expensive programs) a few times before selling them off would be both cost effective and popular.

  • Comment number 51.

    Auntie as she is affectionately known, has been wobbling on its content for a long while. The use of highly paid celebs is not the answer. I am an avid news watcher, but I no longer refer to the BBC first. The breakfast program is a joke for news and financials, I now prefer France 24. No settees and a much wider news coverage which is not on a 30 minute reel, for regurgatation. Radio 4 is excellent. BBC TV has long been accused of dumbing down, dancing, dancing on skates, whats next? Cut back on razzamataz, overblown salaries for no hopers and make people use their brains, it will be better for all.

  • Comment number 52.

    BBC3 should go.It's complete dross and panders to the lowest common denominator. BBC4 is what BBC2 used to be, scrap BBC4 and revamp BBC2.

  • Comment number 53.

    A good place to cut would be the number of political correspondents whose role appears to be to provide THEIR opinion of what is going on. The BBC has a role to provide News not use its own staff to provide opinion. I get that from the people journalists interview.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    I'd prefer the BBC to stick a couple of quid onto the license fee than to cut back.

    And might I add that anyone who suggests the BBC go commercial, be taken out the back and given a damn good thrashing.*

    *This is a humorous suggestion.

  • Comment number 56.

    The BBC could do all this, and more.

    Why, for example, do we need TWO newsreaders/presenters, when one will do? Do they suffer shortage of breath, or do they have ME? Why do we need to have lengthy trailers for up-coming programmes that we knew about already? Why do we need to see Huw Edwards, et al, darting all over the globe the moment some major catastrophe occurs, when there are local reporters already in place? Why do we need to watch so many programmes that are entirely drowned out by pointless background music?

    I remember Steve Coogan, as Alan Partridge, yelling at BBC personnel as he exited Broadcasting House, accusing them of being on the gravy train. How right we was.

  • Comment number 57.

    I think the BBC does not need to cut back so much as domination of the media market, but more of the radio stations. I get most my news via BBC Breakfast or Radio one/two. But maybe having four radio stations or four different channels is going a bit far. And also the cutting back of the website, large parts go unused, updated or unread.

  • Comment number 58.

    As a public service broadcaster, the BBC should provide a high quality independent news and current affairs service. This what the license fee should cover. All other programs and services (including sport, which I am a fan of) should be viewed as being discretionary, and should be funded from an optional additional fee.

    The BBC should do then do the same as any other business to make sure it is providing value for money. It should look at bang for the buck, i.e. cost to provide a program/service divided by the number of viewers. Those programs/services that come top of the list that are discretionary should be binned.

  • Comment number 59.

    The BBC should remember (as the government should!!) that it is funded by the public. It should give value for money but also produce quality programs, and not just pander to public opinion.

    There are specialist channels for specialist programming (cookery, religion, travel etc) and it should not seek to compete with them.

    Instead of producing many channels of poor quality programs, it should strive to produce the highest quality of entertainment, on a smaller range of channels.

    I would also like to see how much money is earnt through BBC enterprises reselling programs overseas and on DVD etc - I read that more revenue has been earned through selling doctor who (all incarnations) than it ever cost to make!

  • Comment number 60.

    The only radio stations I listen to are BBC radio 3 and 4 and occasionally Classic FM. I am sometimes forced to listen to BBC Southern in the GP's surgery. It is dire.

    Please bring back the recommend option.

  • Comment number 61.

    While the Times (which is linked to Sky) has its own agenda for running stories on the BBC, there is no reason why the BBC shouldn't always be thinking about where and how much money it should spend on its activities.

    Cutting imports makes sense, provided they space they take up isn't just filled by home produced material of low quality (eg more daytime TV sort of programmes)

  • Comment number 62.

    Please not radio 6.It's the only station that plays a good quality contemporary music, a sanctuary from X factor banality, and one of the few good things to come out the implementation of digital.

  • Comment number 63.

    I think the BBC is about the only really good thing in Third (nearly fourth) World Britain.

    ITV and Sky is just Tabloid.

    Carry on the good work Auntie.

  • Comment number 64.

    The BBC should move out of London - and thereby make savings on the costs of buildings.

    It should also revert to have your say as it was till this week - I hate this new format.

  • Comment number 65.

    Im glad the bbc asian network will be shut/ Taken off air.. all they ever did was play what they wanted not what the music fans wanted.

    They only pushed certain music/artist who were Coincidently there friends, you cant run a radio station like that,

    So the bbc will save money by getting rid off rubbish off the air.

    Hope the Asian network presenters get new jobs (hopefully Not On Any Radio staion)

  • Comment number 66.

    I think there's quite a bit of unneccessary overstretching and overlapping at the BBC.

    How many actual main television channels does the BBC run now? 4? 5? 6? And radio stations? And how many distinct news centres? And is the BBC a service for the world or for Britain?

  • Comment number 67.

    BBC article from Thursday 17th September 2009-Thompson 'puzzled' over criticism:

  • Comment number 68.

    Looking at some of the suggestions above highlights the main problem: Whether cutting back on programmes or channels, everyone will be annoyed that THEIR programme or channel was cut. Rather than cutting, shouldn't the emphasis be on revenue generation? A good way to start would be to charge for overseas viewers to view the BBC's output, which is currently free of charge. Why should our licence fee pay for their viewing?

  • Comment number 69.

    The BBC needs to start at the very Top with Mark Thompson. I think his strtegic vision has failed yet he continues to ramp up the costs in a climate of austerity. The BBC needs to understand the commercial realities of being in business (learn from ITV) and value the TV license monies better. The BBC seems to value and reflect the minority more than the majority these days in its content and that can't be right given its the majority who provide most of the funds.

  • Comment number 70.

    The BBC seems to be trying to be too many things to too many people. There's very little that I regularly watch or listen to, (especially since Evans replaced Wogan), apart from QI, Top Gear, international rugby and Radcliffe and Marconie. Most of the output seem to be rating chasing or dumbed down.

    Reducing the level of management, compliance (whatever that is) and political correctness would also help. That might to bring back some humour. My daughters made me watch "Gavin and Stacey" and were most put out when I asked if it was a documentary or a drama.

    There seem to be quite a few areas which have few viewers or listeners and they should be cut. The BBC should stand for quality and cut some of the quantity. Less channels would allow better quality of those that remain and that includes higher bitrates for radio and HD. And less pay for top managers and "stars" would leave more for programme making.

    And finally, the BBC should be impartial and stop being a mouthpiece for Brown and Brussels.

  • Comment number 71.

    Personally I think the salaries paid to various people in the employ of the BBC are excessive, and if the BBC wants to begin cuts it should start there. Otherwise more and more licence money will end up in the pockets of these individuals, while the quality of the service provided declines even further.

  • Comment number 72.

    At 12:06pm on 26 Feb 2010, chris wrote:
    Well, I guess the rehash of this HYS site cost something, no? Could there be a VOTE on returning to the last format?

    A vote! Are you mad? Giving the paying public a say on how their website is run - simply ridiculous! Apparently according to experts the old format was biased to the right (or was it left) and it was manipulated always and in no way could it have been taken seriously as public opinion. Unless the top comment was against Christianity, the family or the Conservatives then clearly this was popular opinion and always correct.

    On a side note this new format is wonderful BBC and it no way lets people right pointless drivel (see above).

    Please keep up the lefts great work etc etc...

  • Comment number 73.

    Well certainly one area they could save is to stop paying people to dream up new look HYS web pages when the old format was absolutely fine! Where has the "View my comments" function gone?

    On a serious note, please everyone, the BBC is a fantastic organisation envied the world over, lets not go over the top with this.

    Yes, reduce the disgusting sums paid to top performers (good riddance to J Ross) and reduce the number of senior managers etc.

    But the main area I think savings could be made is by cutting back on the radio/TV stations only a tiny minority listen to/watch, and even more important is to stop producing so many trashy celebrity driven programmes! I do not pay a licence fee for all this utter drivel!

  • Comment number 74.

    Well I think you guys at the BBC will find the biggest clue to where cuts should occur in the name of the corporation! The BRITISH broadcaster should really be highly focused on providing media to the British population! I really do not understand why this British Broadcasting organisation, being based in the UK and mandated to serve the UK population, feels it necessary or indeed within its remit to broadcast in many many many different parts of the world in most languages of the world at considerable cost to the British taxpayer! Why have BBC Africa, BBC Asia, BBC America? And, please do not suggest these are all 'commercial' operations separate from BBC UK. And why is the BBC selling content commercially on Cable/satellite? Content originally produced by BBC UK funded by the taxpayer but no longer broadcast on BBC UK 'free channels'? And why does the BBC insist on engaging in many areas outside broadcasting? ie 'social intervention' websites or local community organisation - The BBC has in many ways become a corporate monster involved in many things it should have no business with!

  • Comment number 75.

    First thing you can do is get rid of this new HYS format ~ bring back the old one or scrap it altogether !

  • Comment number 76.

    1) Firstly, reduce the exorbitant license fee, or introduce a subscription (I'm probably getting moderated out for even suggesting this).
    2) Slash the top earners' wages, both presenters and executives. As great as Top Gear is (and I'm a big fan), it's decayed a lot in recent years and is no longer worth the salaries of Jezza, James and Hamster, much less the ludicrous challenges. Instead of 100% hypercars, let's have some cars people might realistically buy, being reviewed more sensibly. That'll save a few quid right there. Same sort of sanity transplants to more top shows.
    3) Remove the endless slew of repeats, replace them with original programming that was otherwise being shunted onto BBC3 and 4. Remove BBC3 and 4 once done. Leave the repeats to Dave and all those other tacky digital channels.
    4) Wouldn't hurt to have builders and planners who can actually build something on time, either.

  • Comment number 77.

    We might as well cut the entire board of governors and officially hand control over to the government...

  • Comment number 78.

    The BBC website is stunning and millions use it everyday. What kind of plonker would look to cut the money spent on it? It is without rival and in my opinion the flagship product the BBC offers, far and above the likes of BBC3 or BBC4.

    Please don't damage the BBC website for the sake what seems like a good idea today but ultimately will be a huge mistake in the future.

  • Comment number 79.

    Savings -

    (1) Limit top-end employee's pay to £200,000 (Surely that is enough?)

    (2) Close down Radio 1-Xtra, Asian Network, and 6 Music.

    (3) Shutdown Top-Gear. The decadent, often irresponsible show lost the plot many years ago!

    (4) Consider shutting down the DAB network - FM is superior is sound quality, and relocate? Radio 5 on FM. DAB quality gives me an ear-ache. :D

    Keep -

    Traditional - Radio 1,2,3,4,5,7. BBC TV - ONE TWO, THREE, FOUR. Channel 301 for sports repeats etc.


  • Comment number 80.

    Mark Thompson, the BBC's Director-General has stated that he wants quality over quantity yet he is proposing to axe 'Music 6' one of only a few quality music stations available.
    That will be the end of my DAB radios

  • Comment number 81.

    Please don't scrap 6 Music. It's the only radio station that plays music I love to listen to. It's my pal! Surely the BBC should be about providing content that no other provider is, things that aren't the most populist or commericially viable.

  • Comment number 82.

    Why does the BBC maintain its anti-Iranian government Persian service? Why not cut that?

  • Comment number 83.

    By Fndorus:
    "Radio 6 fills a void that no commercial station chooses to broadcast. It has incredible access to all the BBC musical archives and an excellent choice of presenters, producers and musical formats. It would be an absolute catastrophe to loose this great resource"

    I couldn't agree more. It is precisely the more 'minor' radio stations that make the license fee worth paying. I fail to see the advantage in getting rid of the radio stations that explore beyond the commercial mainstream and bring more unusual, and often far more interesting, entertainment to the listeners. The presenters on 6 music in particular are very talented and the station provides a brilliant opportunity for new artists to get their music heard, artists who wouldn't stand a chance with more commercial stations such as radio 1. Axing 6 music would be a massive loss to the BBC, it truly does fill a void. Moreover, it will never get the listener ratings that radio 1 or 2 get as it isn't available on analogue and the majority of radio listening occurs in cars, where few people have digital radio, so comparing listener numbers to stations available on analogue is pointless and disservice to digital-only stations

  • Comment number 84.

    The BBC should be reviewing its output as a continuing process and no doubt does so. It has made great inroads into cutting costs already. Most important: it should retain its independence; and it should remain a bastion of what culture Britain has left.

    It's still the finest broadcast service in the world and we should keep it that way.

  • Comment number 85.

    I think perhaps we should all cut back on the BBC if the HYS website is anything to go by.

  • Comment number 86.

    Why should we care about rival broadcasters? If the BBC can do better then we get better output, if they can't then the rivals will do fine. Who came up with this ridiculous idea that it's better to have competition than a good end-product for listeners and watchers?

    That all said, there's a lot that could be dropped in order to leave the BBC with what it's good at (or used to be).

  • Comment number 87.

    Cutting back on the scandalous salaries of countless presenters - £92,000 for reading the news and asking some pre-written questions? Goodness knows what expenses and allowances these people get too.

  • Comment number 88.

    Cuts in services but no cuts in the license fee? Can we expect "less for more" to become the norm? Will we reach the stage where the BBC broadcasts nothing but "Strictly Come Dancing" and forces us to pay £500 each for the privilege?

    When was the notion of spending the license fee more intelligently replaced by raising costs and/or cutting services? Time to start using license payers' money more wisely.

  • Comment number 89.

    The Times article says there is a "pledge to focus on quality over quantity" but the BBC is going to cut 6 Music while keeping Radio 1...Doesn't add up, does it?

  • Comment number 90.

    I can't believe 6 Music is under review.

    Myself and loads of other people i know wouldn't own a DAB if it wasn't for it and would struggle to find another radio station worth listening to. Get rid of chris moyles and some of the other gutter presenters on radio 1 if you want to make cut backs with their banal conversations and lack of musical taste and depth which is comparable to commercial radio.

    As for TV you can get rid of BBC3 and 4 as long as there are considerations to keep some of the better programs from it (Mad Men, Family Guy, Charlie Brooker). And News 24 whilst it is a good channel, i would happily find an alternative to that.

  • Comment number 91.

    Personally I couldn't give a toss that 6 Music and the Asian Network are being axed as I never listen to these anyway. Where the BBC should cut costs is on the outrageous saliries paid to some of its presenters like for example Jonathan Ross who I'm glad is leaving when his contract expires.

  • Comment number 92.

    I don't believe the BBC are getting rid of the only radio station I actually listen to! What the heck is my license fee money being spent on? 1Xtra and reality TV? I want my money back.

  • Comment number 93.

    26. At 12:17pm on 26 Feb 2010, Roger Smith wrote:

    "'The Times claims the BBC will two radio stations and scale back its website. Does the BBC need to downsize?'
    not in the grammer area I hope!!!"

    Or the spelling department either, Roger. GrammAr and spelling are important ;)

  • Comment number 94.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 95.

    I'd start with Mark Thompson. He has had long enough to execute his stratgeic vision and it has been found wanting. The BBC needs to understand the stark realities of business (learn from ITV) and cut its cloth accordingly. To hear it may save £600m from 2 radion stations and some websites is truly astounding. Think what it could save if it paid celebs appropriate salaries and didnt move into new premises at £2bn. Maybe the BBC thinks its a bank! It's time to represent the majority more rather than the fringe minority, after all it is the majority that provide the majority of the TC license isn't it?

  • Comment number 96.

    6 Music is one of the few radio stations that I listen online and it's perfect to build a musical culture. Please do not scrap it!

  • Comment number 97.

    I don't know enough detail about where the BBC spends its money to make cogent comment about what programming should or shouldn't be cut or cost-reduced., but two things have hit the news recently that horrify me.

    First the size of the team sent to Vancouver to cover a winter Olympics for which they aren't even providing pictures. I don't know what class they travelled, or at what type of hotel they are being accommodated, but I fear I can guess.

    The number of people at the BBC who are paid huge ( and IMO unjustified) salaries

    The problem with these two instances is not merely that they have happened, but that they have been staunchly defended. These two factors persuade me that the first savings that should be made at the BBC are the Board, to be replaced by people more in touch with what the licencepayer finds acceptable and who are prepared to keep self-interested and profligate senior executives in line. I suspect we could save zillions at the BBC without reducing service or quality much if at all.

  • Comment number 98.

    Whilst it is undeniably essential for the BBC to make cut backs, if got rid of 6 Music they would really be missing a trick. What a fabulous station it is! Great variety or presenters and music that you don't get to hear anywhere else on the radio, commercial or not. The only thing that has ever come close is the John Kennedy Xposure show on Xfm, and that's once late night once a week show.
    The BBC need to promote things like 6Music, and raise the brow of weekend programming, all these talent contests and celebrity worshipping shows drive people crazy.

  • Comment number 99.

    What should the BBC cut back?

    Broadcasting to Iran! You whine every time they jam you, but how many Iranians pay for a TV license?

  • Comment number 100.

    Quality over quantity? IMO 6 is their joint-best radio station along with 2. They want to give 1 a good shakedown and get rid of all the loud gobby lot that tarnish its output instead, I haven't chosen to listen to 1 since Mark & Lard finished, and when I've been subjected to it it's just constant lowest common denominator yelling by people who aren't as funny as they think they are.
    For me, 6 is how BBC2 used to be and what BBC3 is now, a great place for experimentation and slightly non-mainstream hosts. The commissioners at the BBC should take a good hard look at the podcast charts over a full year for a bit of a pointer of the popularity of certain shows on 6.
    While they're examining the Asian network, why not also look at the overly urban 1extra? I feel that the Asian network should remain as there is a market for broadcasting to the large number of Asians in the UK, but R1 is already urban enough, isn't it?


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