Magazine article Global Finance

Britain: BBC Chief Places Well-Shod Foot in Mouth

Magazine article Global Finance

Britain: BBC Chief Places Well-Shod Foot in Mouth

Article excerpt

AROUND THE WORLD

Gavyn Davies, former chief economist at Goldman Sachs, is having a little trouble settling into his new role as chairman of British national broadcaster, the BBC.

In a speech to the media and politicians at London's Westminster Media Forum in March, Davies, who has been in the job only since October last year, surprised his audience with an ill-- advised dig at some of the BBC's most vociferous detractors. Critics who accuse the broadcaster of dumbing down its programs are "southern, white, and middle-class" viewers and listeners who want to hijack the corporation, he said. Such people already consume a disproportionate amount of BBC services, Davies explained.

"The Asian teenager on the streets of Leicester has just as much right to be heard, and to be served, as the member of the House of Lords in Westminster," he added. Leicester is a large city in Britain's East Midlands, with a thriving ethnic minority community. …

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