Show Hide image

Mark Thompson blames salary cuts for difficulty filling senior BBC roles

Salary over £300,000 not enough to tempt director position applicants.

The BBC have had very few eligibile applicants for the role of Director of BBC Vision. The top ranking position as head of the BBC's in-house production offers a salary over £300,000, but the director general has claimed this sum is too low to attract applicants.

Mark Thompson told the Lords communications select committee that "increasingly, remuneration is a factor" for the lack of appeal of top BBC jobs. He admitted they were finding it "extremely hard to fill senior jobs" because of the cuts to these salaries.

The director role being recruited was formally served by Jana Bennett, who earned £517,000 during her final year. Since then, in the face of public pressure, the BBC agreed to make cuts of 25% to the largest salaries in the corporation by 2013. Thompson earned £838,000 last year and along with senior executives has not taken a bonus since 2009.

Thompson also told the committee that it was hard for the BBC to compete, as it does, in "broadcasting markets, which are commercial."

The final round to fill the Vision role will take place next week, with acting director George Entwistle believed as the favoured candidate.

Alice Gribbin is a Teaching-Writing Fellow at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She was formerly the editorial assistant at the New Statesman.