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Anger as the BBC promises reform while employee pay rises 3.5% – despite 1.5 million free TV licenses being stripped


The BBC has come under fire after it released reports today showing that employee pay rose 3.5 percent to £ 1.5 billion this year – as the company pushes its plans, over a million To withdraw their free TV licenses from 75-year-olds.

The reports released at noon showed that Zoe Ball is now the BBC's top-earning gamer after pocketing a £ 1 million raise – pushing Gary Lineker off the top.

The 59-year-old Match of the Day star is said to have signed a new five-year contract – and a wage cut of almost 25 percent from 1.75 million pounds to 1.35 million pounds.

In response to the message, Lineker sarcastically tweeted, “Oh, honey. During this difficult time, thoughts are with the haters. & # 39;

Radio 2's 49-year-old presenter Ball now makes £ 1.36 million despite losing nearly a million listeners after the company pledged to close the gender pay gap.

However, critics have blown their decision to reward their employees with a 3.5 percent total pay increase, even after announcing plans to cut their business operations following the pandemic.

Radio 2 DJ Zoe Ball

Radio 2 DJ Zoe Ball will now overtake Gary Lineker as the BBC's highest paid stars

Others have pointed to his shocking urge to strip 1.5 million retirees of their free TV licenses as the BBC tries to attract younger audiences in its war on Netflix.

BBC Director General Tim Davie defended Ball's huge pay rise after losing nearly a million listeners in her first year in her new role, saying it was a "punchy" market.

& # 39; Zoe is absolutely a broadcaster at the top of her game. It has over eight million listeners, ”he boasted. "I think we're getting incredible value."

When asked about people like Lineker who are still making more than £ 1 million, Mr Davie said he would expect "people to come to the BBC with a substantial discount on what they would get on the open market" . But he added, "We will invest in very limited situations in certain markets to make sure we have the best talent."

Angry Twitter accounts hit the BBC with a comment: “There is no way to justify the extortionate salaries on the BBC.

& # 39; It just can't go on. Using the royalty as payment for some of the BBC dinosaurs should be a criminal offense. "

In response to Lineker's raise, one tweeted, "How the hell can you justify giving Lineker such an obscene salary?" Another commented: "Mr. Lineker, don't you feel guilty about receiving such an obscene amount of money?"

"You smug steward," tweeted a report. “These are the elderly people who offend you while you rejoice. You're getting your excessive salary straight from a ridiculous tax.

"If the BBC had to pay their own way, you'd be singing a different song." Another commented, "How can the BBC justify these disgusting salaries?"

The BBC bosses hope to match or surpass gender equality this year.

They have attempted to increase the pay of male and female celebrities in order to damage the company's reputation and reduce the discord between employees.

Equality issues led the BBC to hand out a settlement with former Chinese editor Carrie Gracie in 2018 and lose a case to Samira Ahmed in an equal pay tribunal earlier this year.

The BBC today announced its Top Earning List, which shows employee wages have risen to £ 1.6 billion:

  • Radio stars Steve Wright, Vanessa Feltz and Lauren Laverne all had raises
  • Newsreader Huw Edwards was just one of the top ten to save money
  • Tim Davie admitted that the diversity of the top earners needed to be improved
  • Retirees' campaign group, Silver Voice, said the huge wages and hikes suggested that the BBC has a skewed awareness of priorities during troubled times.
  • Anti-royalty activists for the TaxPayers' Alliance said "BBC pay hikes for laden Luvvies are flying in the face of interest payers facing economic ruin".

Lineker tweeted shortly after the BBC announced its new deal and cut wages

Lineker tweeted shortly after the BBC announced its new deal and cut wages

Angry Twitter accounts ruined the BBC's decision to reward its employees with a 3.5 percent total pay increase after it announced plans to cut its business operations following the pandemic

Angry Twitter accounts ruined the BBC's decision to reward its employees with a 3.5 percent total pay increase after it announced plans to cut its business operations following the pandemic

The BBC's 268-page report released at noon today is full of congratulations. Says Mr Davie, “The past few months have been a great reminder of how important the BBC is to all of us and our families.

BBC Rich List 2020 Top Ten

1. BBC Radio 2's breakfast show, DJ Zoe Ball, costs £ 1.36 million.

2. Match of the Day host Gary Lineker has a cash prize of £ 1.35 million.

3. Graham Norton takes approximately £ 725,000 for his Radio 2 show and some TV work, but not for his chat show.

4. Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright is at approximately £ 475,000.

5. News anchor and election night presenter Huw Edwards has more than £ 465,000.

6. Fiona Bruce takes home over £ 450,000 for her work on Question Time.

7. Vanessa Feltz of BBC Radio London has around £ 405,000.

8. Desert Island Discs host Lauren Laverne has over £ 395,000.

9. Stephen Nolan has raised over £ 390,000 for its radio work, including 5 Live.

10. Match Of The Day's Alan Shearer is £ 390,000 a year.

& # 39; The programs and services we offer to the audience have never been more relevant, important or necessary. I take pride in how quickly and effectively the BBC served the needs of the nation when the coronavirus crisis erupted.

"Not only have our teams kept the services up and running at a unique test time, but they have shown remarkable dedication, flexibility and ingenuity to adapting them to the most pressing needs of our audience."

It devotes a full 38 pages to its so-called Equal Opportunities Index report, which lists the number of people ticking quotas – including the same number of men and women, the same number of heterosexual and homosexual people, ethnic races, and even religious denominations.

However, the BBC also shows that workplace bullying and harassment claims have increased since last year. There were 92 formal cases reported this year – including 10 cases of sexual harassment – up from 86 formal cases in 2019.

The report also shows that the BBC is losing young viewers, audiences in the North and Midlands, and the trust of the BAME community. A fifth of under 16s do not use BBC content, while 16 to 34 year olds use YouTube as their primary viewing point.

The time spent watching the BBC fell in the North (by 12 minutes a week) and the Midlands (by 13 minutes) last year.

"Netflix is ​​often seen as the market leader by younger viewers," admitted the BBC's annual report.

It comes when Ball overtakes Lineker as the BBC's highest earning star. The Match of the Day star has been the company's highest paid company since 2018 – when Chris Evans, the previous leader, left.

Earlier this month, Ball injected an estimated £ 1.5 million into a country house built by a Russian aristocrat.

The six bedroom property, founded by Baron Vladimir de Wolff in the 1920s, has a swimming pool, tennis court and several acres of gardens.

Paid packages created through BBC Studios, the channel's commercial arm, responsible for companies like Strictly Come Dancing, Antiques Roadshow and Doctor Who, will not be published in the new accounts.

Graham Norton takes around £ 725,000 for his Radio 2 show and some TV work, but not for his chat show. Radio 2 DJ Steve Wright is at around £ 475,000.

News anchor and election night presenter Huw Edwards has over £ 465,000. Fiona Bruce takes home over £ 450,000 for her work on Question Time.

Vanessa Feltz of BBC Radio London costs around £ 405,000. Lauren Laverne, host of Desert Island Discs, tops the top 10 for the first time with over £ 395,000.

Stephen Nolan has over £ 390,000 for its radio work, including 5 Live. Alan Shearer from Match Of The Day is on the same character.

Laverne took on Kirsty Young on Radio 4 while Bruce followed in David Dimbleby's footsteps.

The BBC previously opposed the publication of salaries as "poachers' charter", but then boss Lord Hall later welcomed the "transparency".

The salaries are published under the question of how the BBC will be funded in the future.

The license fee model is guaranteed until December 31, 2027, the end of the current charter.

Decriminalizing royalty evasion could also be an option – but the BBC has warned that moving to a civilian system would cost the station more than £ 200 million a year.

The BBC began reviewing the Free TV license for the over 75s in August, having previously delayed its rollout due to the pandemic.

When it became known last night that the BBC had raised salaries to more than 700 female employees for equal pay since the start of its scandal.

A request on freedom of information revealed that between July 2017 and March 2020, at least 84 women received a raise through formal procedures. During the same period, 608 women received a salary revision or raise through an informal salary request.

The pay revelations will rekindle anger over the BBC's decision to revoke their free TV licenses for over 75s. John O & # 39; Connell, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the TaxPayers & # 39; Alliance, responded to the BBC Star Salaries being published:

“These Beeb salary packages are being taken out of the pockets of retirees and poor taxpayers who are fed up with paying license fees under threat of imprisonment.

"It is high time we got rid of the TV tax, introduced a subscription service and stopped taxpayer money for these media millionaires."

The BBC has insisted that it cannot afford the concession for all retirees, saying that only around 900,000 who receive retirement loans would continue to receive them.

In the meantime, Netflix bosses have campaigned for the long-term future of the BBC and advocated continuing the license fee.

They say that the streaming service that draws viewers to traditional TV channels benefits from a creative landscape that is crowded with thriving public service channels.

Two executives were grilled by MPs today, repeatedly re-examining their forecast for the BBC and their taxpayer-funded model.

Anne Mensah, vice president of the original series at Netflix and a former employee of the company herself, suggested continuing operations with a license fee.

She video-linked to the Commons' Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee and said, “I am a firm believer in the long-term sustainability of the BBC.

“I love the BBC, I think they do some of the best shows based on what they did this year from I May Destroy You to A Suitable Boy.

"I support the idea of ​​a UK creative economy based on a number of different models from subscription to license and I would hate it if the effects of the BBC in the UK were to wear off."

BBC boss admits diversity is at stake

The lack of diversity in the top 10 list of BBC highest paid stars means the BBC has more “work” to do on the subject.

The list includes Gary Lineker, Zoe Ball, Graham Norton, Steve Wright, and Huw Edwards.

Director General Tim Davie said 18% of all stars making more than £ 150,000 are from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority (BAME) groups, compared with 12% in 2016-17.

"We've made good progress. If you look at the industry we're in a good place, but we still have a lot to do," he said.

Earlier this year the BBC announced that it would allocate £ 100 million for "diverse and inclusive content" as part of its response to the US murder of George Floyd.

The total from the existing budget for the commissioning will be spent on television spending in all areas, including children, education and current affairs, for three years from 2021/22 onwards.

Last month then-General Manager Lord Hall apologized for a message that contained a racist term

More than 18,000 people complained to the BBC about the show, on which social affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin repeated a racist charge.

Last night's retiree groups were demanding slash star wages from the company if they were to expect people over 75 to pay for their licenses.

Dennis Reed, of retirement campaign group Silver Voices, said, “This increase shows a skewed awareness of priorities for the BBC at a difficult time.

"I would like to see them give equal priority to poorer retirees who are struggling to pay their license fees."

Tim Davie, the new director general of the BBC, has vowed to cut the company's workforce.

He also said he was glad Lineker signed a new five-year deal with the BBC.

"And he did so with a saving of almost a quarter on his last deal," he said.

& # 39; We are very honored to have a broadcaster of such brilliance on the BBC.

"And this is a great example of how to bring both the best talent and value to the audience."

The BBC is pushing for moderators to use social media.

Davie added, "Gary knows he has a responsibility to the BBC for using social media."

BBC Chairman David Clementi said: & # 39; This annual report tells the story of a BBC that remains of great value domestically and internationally, but is not without significant challenges.

& # 39; In the coronavirus crisis, the BBC was already spending 31% less on public services in the UK than if the license fee had risen with inflation since 2010.

& # 39; Now the grave impact of Covid-19 means we need to save an additional £ 125 million in a tougher market than ever – on top of additional significant savings.

In this context, the BBC needs to redouble its efforts to serve all audiences while maximizing commercial revenue and helping the creative industries recovery across the UK.

BBC & # 39; S 2020 STARS & # 39; PAY REVEALED

today

Nick Robinson – £ 299,999

Mishal Husain – £ 269,999

Martha Kearney – £ 259,999

Justin Webb – £ 254,999

World at once

Sarah Montague – £ 254,999

PM

Evan Davis – £ 279,999

BBC News at six and ten

Huw Edwards – £ 469,000

George Alagiah – £ 329,999

Sophie Raworth – £ 279,999

Question time

Fiona Bruce – £ 454,999

Andrew Marr Show

Andrew Marr – £ 364,999

Andrew Neil Show

Andrew Neil – £ 174,999

Newsnight

Emily Maitlis – £ 374,999

Kirsty Wark – £ 219,999

Victoria Derbyshire

Victoria Derbyshire – £ 219,999

BBC News

Clive Myrie – £ 219,999

Reeta Chakrabarti – £ 184,999

Ben Brown – £ 169,999

Carrie Gracie – £ 159,999

On-air editors and correspondents

Laura Kuenssberg – £ 294,999

Jon Sopel – £ 239,999

Jeremy Bowen – £ 224,999

Katya Adler – £ 214,999

John Pienaar – £ 169,999

Faisal Islam – £ 159,999

Non-politics or news

Gary Lineker – £ 1.75 million

Zoe Ball – £ 1.35 million

Graham Norton – £ 729,999

Claudia Winkleman – £ 729,999

Steve Wright – £ 479,999

Vanessa Feltz – £ 409,999

Clare Balding – £ 159,000

Mary Berry – £ 219,000

The company admits that the number of employees is "not going in the right direction".

The company today insisted that it was under no illusions and recognized the need to improve the structure of the workforce.

The total number of employees rose from 19,231 to 19,572 last year, while the number of senior executives also rose from 250 to 253 – around 1.4 percent of the total workforce.

On top of that, 106 employees are paid more than the prime minister, and with the audience falling, it is clear that changes need to be made, the bosses said.

A spokesman said "we have to do a lot more to modernize and reform further and faster," adding that "we can never be satisfied," although an efficiency report shows some success.

Regarding the number of employees, BBC bosses said "some measures are not going in the right direction" and the new director general insisted that the focus should continue to be on cutting costs so that the number of civil servants is reduced .

Meanwhile, the report also identified 92 formal cases of bullying and harassment in the last year, up from 86 in the last 12 months.

However, the average time to close a case decreased significantly from 108 in 2018/19 to 77 days.

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