BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten quoted Charles Dickens today in reflecting on the corporation’s last year: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” he said. Patten made the remark in presenting the BBC’s annual report for the year ended March 31. He was specifically referring to the ups and downs of 2012/2013 which included highs like coverage of the summer Olympics and lows like the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal. Speaking of the Savile crisis and of editorial troubles at flagship news magazine Newsnight, Patten said, “The BBC seriously let down both itself and license fee payers. Trust in the institution took a hit as a result, although it has begun to recover.” The fallout from the Savile scandal was costly in more ways than one. It was revealed that the broadcaster spent about £5M on investigations in the wake of the crisis while payments to outgoing execs also jumped. Talent remunieration dropped a little over 1%, but executive pay rose from $2.56M to £4.13M, per The Guardian. Those execs include former general director Mark Thompson who left in September 2012 to be CEO and president of The New York Times Co., and George Entwistle who left in November after just 54 days on the job amid the Savile revelations. Entwistle alone receieved £470,000 in severance plus £107,000 in legal fees. The corporation said, however, that it delivered £580M in “efficiency savings” in the 2012/2013 financial year. Current director general Tony Hall said the BBC “should be optimistic about the future.”
BBC Annual Report: Broadcaster “Seriously Let Down” License Fee Payers
For all of Deadline’s headlines, follow us @Deadline on Twitter
Sign up for Newsletters
Trending Now on Deadline
Box Office Saturday: 'Maze Runner' Finds $32M To $33M; Liam's 'Walk' Limps To $13.2M; 'Where I Leave You' No. 3
UPDATE: 'Cops' Bryce Dion Killed By Friendly Fire In Omaha While Filming Response To Wendy's Robbery
More From Tartaglione
- Peter Kujawski Named Managing Director Of Universal Pictures Int'l Productions
- 'Mommy' To Rep Canada In Foreign-Lingo Oscar Race; Belgium Picks 'Two Days, One Night'
- Annabelle Wallis Joins Armie Hammer In Psychological Thriller 'Mine'
- Scotland Votes To Remain In The UK: Political Changes Loom, Effect On Film & TV Biz Uncertain
- Scottish Independence Vote: If The Ayes Have It, What Happens For Film & TV Biz?
- ITV Closes Curtain On 'Rising Star'; UK Version Will Not Go Forward