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OPINION: BBC Has Devised a Brilliant Plan to Secure Its Post-Hutton Future

Magazine article Marketing

OPINION: BBC Has Devised a Brilliant Plan to Secure Its Post-Hutton Future

Article excerpt

A few things are becoming very clear about the strategy of the BBC. The top brass will try to tough out the embarrassment of this month's report from Lord Hutton unless the criticism is unexpectedly ferocious.

Even if it is, there will be no guarantee that famous names will fall on their swords.

The BBC will argue it has already taken remedial action in the case of presenter's columns and the appointment of Mark Byford as deputy director general in charge of complaints and compliance.

A few changes to editorial guidelines are being held back to offer up something if Lord Hutton's tone is sharper than expected. Director general Greg Dyke is even retaining the option of rejecting the findings if they are judged too severe.

As Dyke put it last month, things move so fast these days that hardly anything remains a story for long. Even the dramatic capture of Saddam Hussein was old news within five days.

So, barring unexpected mishaps, you can forget the prospect of resignations or even the BBC's traditional approach in such difficult circumstances - that deputy heads will roll. It will be a case of onward and upward to Charter Review with a new identity and safe house for Andrew Gilligan in the outer reaches of the Corporation.

The BBC's approach to Charter Review is also becoming clearer. Detailed answers to the government's 24 questions about its future will be published by March. There are a lot of people at the BBC who know a great deal about submitting near-perfect examination answers and there are sure to be many hands involved in the honing. …

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