Years ago when I was part of a start- up ad agency we constantly reminded ourselves about the theory of the ‘million pound cup of coffee’.
It’s based on how the value of your company is affected when you sell it and the way expenses can fuck it up. I can’t quite remember how it works but I know we certainly cut down on what we spent on Nescafe, just in case.
Why have I started this nonsense? Well, a couple of days ago I rambled on about how the BBC could protect the 6 Nations if it stopped pissing money away on stupid stuff all the time. You can read it in ‘Up in the Air’ – but only if you can be arsed, obviously.
Now, I know that the BBC isn’t trying to flog itself to a Venture Capitalist, which is a bit of a shame to be frank. They would relish the massive opportunities to cut costs and get some sponsorship (the DFS red sofa? Presenter wardrobe funded by M & S and not the licence fee?). In addition the obvious temptation to dump over–priced and untalented talent, knocking free holidays on the head and getting the Java bill down would have VCs’ queueing round the block at W1A to make an easy killing.
My point is that all the hand wringing about being outbid by Sky and BT for sport coverage is patently not matched by the desire to keep stuff like the 6 Nations.
If they did, they wouldn’t be acting like Sepp Blatter and ignoring the fact that something is wrong in the State of Denmark (or Broadcasting House to be exact).
Try this one out for size from last year –
Not sure how this fits with your stated intent to “rein in expenses”
Exactly how do you justify £500,000 on taxis? Or actually spend that much?
Oh – here’s how – £2,000 a week used to be spent on ‘match of the Day’ taxis for 2 blokes!
Another BBC bloke knocked up a bill of £24k poodling around town.
Even he was outdone by Alan Yentob who managed to run up £25,000 – either the cabbies were taking the piss or the meter was broken and Alan was told “that’ll be a grand from the Beeb to Paddington guv!” Yentob is the creative director – not sure if that means when he fills in his expenses form.
Brings a whole new meaning to the delight of the bloke when he tells you “I had that Alan Yentob in here last week – I’m off to Hawaii tomorrow”
I imagine there’s a permanent line of black cabs queueing outside Broadcasting House
Have butchers at this report from 2013 –
Jennifer Saunders also complained about the wastage
I loved this bit –
‘Writing in the BBC’s staff magazine Ariel, Marc Settle said he was quoted a price of £87 for a taxi from Tonbridge to Gatwick on the internal system even though he could have booked a cab from a local firm for £45.A statement from BBC Procurement said central booking charges “may appear to be higher than booking locally and directly” but the BBC had to use firms that are “both legally compliant and vetted” and offered “a 24/7 service”.
I know all this is from a couple of years ago – but hands up all those who think that executives are now getting the bus – or at least a competitive cab quote? Although watching John Bishop travelling round Australia is obviously a riveting programme that everyone has been dying to see and not just a holiday jaunt for John and the film crew.
Of course I could be wrong – maybe the BBC is now more worried about the 6 Nations and blue ribbon sports – or is it still using the licence for getting pissed, travelling around the world and helping black cabbies buy nice flats in Chelsea?
To be fair, the latest report does confirm that the ‘talent’ cost has been reduced over the last 5 years
It does point out though – ‘However, a significant part of the reduction was down to the BBC making fewer in-house programmes, particularly in entertainment, as well as reducing salaries’
The BBC don’t need a ‘lifer’ at the top – they need someone commercial – a bloke (or Doris) who has run an outfit that actually had to make a profit – and preferably one who likes rugby (although I accept that is not the most important factor on the CV).
Still I suppose we should be grateful that some of the historic practices have been stopped (at least as far as I know) –
You’re probably wondering when I’m going to stop having a go at the BBC. That’s easy – when they stop pissing money away that puts the 6 Nations at risk.
As I said before the biggest problem isn’t at Sky – it’s the enemy within!