Sunday, July 04, 2010

How Much Are BBC Managers Worth?

Andrew Marr to Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC: "You're paid five times what the Prime Minister is...

And answer came there none. Instead he wittered on about recruiting a new controller of Radio 4.

Mark Thompson earns £834,000 a year, I believe.

How many of us think he is worth that salary? Very few, I suspect. He reckons that most BBC senior managers could earn 80% more in the private sector. It's a line has been peddling for a long time. The fact of the matter is that it's bollocks. How many Personel Directors do you know in the media industry who earn £320,000? Very few, I suspect.

I fully understand that if you pay peanuts you get monkeys, but the BBC really needs to do more to address its senior management structure. There's an awful lot of fat there, and an awful lot of money to be saved, which could then be put to much better use in programme making.


Brian said...

I agree that most BBC managers could earn 80% more in the private sector. However, how many would accept the many risks involved in drug smuggling?

Libertarian said...

What public sector employees NEVER factor when they compare themselves to the private sector is that each and every day workers in the private sector have to go and attract paying customers and then try to keep them happy. When your income is given to you and refusing to pay it no matter how crap and unwanted your service is is a criminal offence it's a bit easier don't you think and seeing as 80% of the role of a comarible job isn't done I would say that 20% of salary would be about right.

Therefore Thomson should be earning a salary of £200k in comparison

Paul Halsall said...

I don't believe any executive in a public corporation should be allowed to earn more then 20x the lowest paid.

But I also believe this should be applied to the private sector as well.

Westerly21 said...

I am not sure that using the salary of the PM is a fair yardstick for comparison, when judging the individual financial worth of the management of a company.

It is more about the number of managers employed in most organisations than it is about the individuals - government included!

However. if the BBC's defence argument is that managers would get more working in the private sector, then let them loose and see if it is true - I for one, very much doubt it would be!

English Pensioner said...

Its not only the BBC, its the same in all public funded organisations.
The Metropolitan Police, as one example, has far more senior equivalent posts (above Commander level) than there are Police Officers! All, I suspect, are earning far more than they could get in any public company.

Charles said...

The problem is that when BBC employees say "I have an offer worth 80% more in the private sector" they are not comparing like for like.

I can believe that a start-up enterprise would offer some very high salaries to attract high profile employees and allow them to build momentum.

They are not factoring in the safety / reputational / CV benefits of working for a organisation like the BBC which should allow them to pay a discount.

My suggestion would be that the BBC should introduce a policy (like many of the blue chip banks do) of not matching offers from competitors.

Let's see how many people actually leave rather than just attempt to bid up their salaries.

Additionally, we need to rethink the "mission" of the BBC. They have got sucked into the view that ratings determine whether they are doing a good job - and hence they need to pay top dollar for "the talent". I'm not convinced that this is what Reith had in mind for his creation - and am certainly not sure that this is what the public should be paying its license fee to achieve.

Tom said...

Peanuts? We pay a bloody fortune and get monkeys! We might as well be paying peanuts...

Patrick said...

At the BBC there are shed loads of middle managers on £100k plus.

Then there are the senior managers.... paid even more.

That is why the monkey directors are on £320k.

wild said...

Paul Halsall,

Who cares what you think about how much other people should be paid for doing their job? I am sure you think that anybody who earns substantially more than you (when I say "earn" I am of course making a big assumption, since most of the Lefties on here live off money earned by other taxpayers) is paid "too much".

The point about the "public sector workers" is that they extract their pay (and perks) from other taxpayers, who have their choice not to employ them taken away from them; on the grounds that we may decide to go to more competent and hard working "service providers" instead.

A Guardian reader in short is essentially an envy driven parasite who expects other taxpayers (especially Daily Mail readers!) to pay their bills, because they (if nobody else) thinks they are "worth it".

john in cheshire said...

Privatise the bbc, with users payig a subscription as they do for sky. When that happens, I won't care a damn what they pay their staff because I won't be paying for their channels. Just make sure that the government cannot place adverts on their channels as a covert means of subsidising it, as happened with the Guardian newspaper during the last 13 years of socialist dictatorship.

Alex said...

The head of personnel in the NHS earns £225k and she is responsible for 1.8 million people including agency workers.

Anonymous said...

We should simply start phasing out the licence fee.

1% reduction a year per year. Let the BBC start trimming the fat, give it time to get rid of it's bloated arms (why does it need BBC News online with magazines, articles, interactive games - leave it to the private sector).

That would be a nice cash benefit to UK households.

Anonymous said...

If they're worth that much in the private sector then they should go off and get it there - it's as simple as that.

The problem for this country is that the BBC is so much of the media industry - it needs to be cut back to a reasonable size, doing public service stuff in the public sector, whilst getting rid of the ratings chasing dross to the private sector.

On the subject of pay, the same goes for all those MPs that witter on about being worth £100k pa in the private sector - don't whinge, just feck off and do it in the private sector then - no one forces them to be MPs, and there's no shortage of capable applicants for their posts!

Three times the average salary plus staff and expenses to do what most of them would do for free anyway even if they didn't get paid is plenty!

Libertarian said...

@paul halsall

OK I run a small business say that sells a product that makes £1 profit. When I've sold 240,000 in the first 6 months what do I do next? Stop, not sell anymore? Sack my staff as not needed? Wow what a genius idea.

Please explain why socialists really hate people using their talent, creativity and hard work to make money, create jobs and pay other people.

skynine said...

Of course it's not just the salary that is being paid, it is the final salary pension actuarial valuation at the end of it that actually costs more than the salary.

Bill Quango MP said...

I suspect the answer is to pay the staff more, so giving you scope to increase your own wage.

I don't agree with it, naturally, but its not quite the fantasy it first seems. We pretty much have it now.

Heart surgeon paid 20 times what a cleaner is. £5.80 = £12,064
Surgeon gets 20 x £241,280

Forklft is about £8 ph.= £16,640
Head of Sony £160 ph.= £332,800

I think our Lefty friend is really stating £8ph min wage.

DeeDee99 said...

We are supposed to admire Thomson because he is foregoing one month's salary. Big deal.

If he had said he was accepting a 75% pay cut, I'd have paid him some attention. As it is, he is just another pig with his snout in the trough.

Get rid of the licence tax.

BJ said...

For a long time I've been saying that the BBC really doesn't need a deputy director general. Mark Byford's salary is £471k. And he's a complete waste of space. How do I know this? I work for him.

Unsworth said...

Thompson's a dissembling idiot. He says that 'no other broadcaster' publishes details of the salaries earned by their people etc.

Yes, and?

How many 'other broadcasters' are funded by us?

Does this clown seriously believe the BBC is exactly the same as Sky? If so, fine, let's make the BBC available on subscription only and withdraw all public funding.

Libertarian said...

@Bill Quango

What if I don't have any staff?

Why shouldn't Beckham earn £10 m per year what does anyone else care?

He has to pay tax on it, he will employ people out of his taxed income.

Thee trouble with socialists is they think that life is a zero sum game, it isn't just because I have more doesn't stop you having more.

JohnRS said...

Channel 4 recently announced a 25% cut in the numbers of managers they employ.

Why are we not hearing the same from the BBC? Because they have an effectively infinite money supply to draw on.

Ban the TV Tax. Privatise, closed down or sell off the whole rotten organisation.

Jimmy said...

I think the problem may be that some tv execs have an inflated view of their worth. There's even one who thinks the job qualified him to be PM

niconoclast said...

If the BBC was sold to Murdoch or someone would this not assist deficit reduction and free the airwaves from the tyranical sway of unchecked liberal twaddle. We need a UK Fox chanel!