BBC director general announces budget plans (aaarr)

My editor tells me that it’s Talk Like A Pirate Day (or something) today so to keep in the spirit of things and avoid looking like a surly grump, I’m going to join in. So, with that, please enjoy this news about the new BBC budgeting… in pirate speak.

Aarrr. Th’ lily livered BBC director general, Mark ‘Red Beard’ Thompson, will today present proposals t’ th’ BBC Trust t’ plug a predicted £2bn budget shortfall that be expected t’ lead t’ buckets o’ job losses across th’ corporation. Ooo… aaarrr…

Th’ TV factual an’ news divisions be expected t’ take th’ brunt o’ th’ cuts, while th’ BBC’s core services – includin’ digital channels BBC3 an’ BBC4 – be understood t’ be safe ashore. Mateys be havin’ spake th’ London factual department be one o’ th’ hardest hit, wi’ th’ current six studios – arts, documentaries an’ specialist features, events, features an’ formats, science an’ history an’ Th’ One Show – bein’ merged together under one leader.

In-house production has also been th’ subject o’ a summer-long review, called Project Jewell, by th’ head o’ BBC Vision, Peter Salmon. Redundancies in th’ factual department be originally expected t’ be announced next moon but these be thought t’ ben put aft t’ th’ end o’ Novembree. They could be seein’ th’ London factual programmin’ department’s head count cut by nearly half, walkin’ th’ gang plank, includin’ 15 out o’ 37 executive producers.

One matey in th’ factual division spake: “Th’ studio system will lose a layer o’ captainship. Thar be so wee work in-house that ‘t would be th’ only logical thin’.” News be set t’ face further budget cuts, wi’ Newsnight facin’ a 20% reduction o’er five voyages. BBC3 an’ BBC4 be expected t’ remain as stand-alone channels, although sources be havin’ spake BBC2 an’ BBC4 could be brought closer together, either wi’ joint commissionin’ or under one captain.

E’en tho Red Beard Thompson will lay ou’ his proposals today, t’ th’ BBC Trust – led by first mate Sir Michael Lyons – nay decisions be expected t’ be made until th’ next trust meetin’ in Octobree. Sources be havin’ spake that on accoun’ o’ Mr Thompson has formulated his proposals in consultation wi’ th’ trust, thar be nay surprises.

“This be a process o’ ongoin’ discussion between th’ BBC Trust an’ captainship via two trust sub-committees,” one senior BBC source spake. “What Mark be presentin’ be a further draft o’ th’ plan as ’tis emergin’ post these discussions. ‘t be subject t’ further scrutiny an’ further questions from th’ trust. A lot o’ research be done on th’ public’s priorities an’ th’ good shippe Auntie’s performance. Th’ public wants greater distinction an’ more originality. These be two things th’ trust be drawin’ on.”

Did that make any sense at all? If not, click here to read it in English.

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