Monday, April 24, 2006

BBC wonga trouble

The BBC silly money story will not go away and now Radio 4 presenters are up in arms about the huge paypackets dished out to the likes of Sara Cox, who picks £200k for shouting into the microphone twice a week.

Radio 4 presenters aren't concerned that the "talent" over at Radio 1 and Radio 2 are paid they are outraged that the BBC pays so much money to people who ramble between records fullstop.

You can see their point.

Radio 4 presenters are paid a fraction of what the likes of Radio 2 DJs Jonathan Ross and Chris Evans receive, as are, er, most people.

One presenter, quoted in The Times, said: "I accept that we are public service broadcasters but I have worked out that I am paid a tenth of what some receive for spouting between records. It is not just airtime. We can spend hours beforehand researching subjects or preparing interviews."

It all means trouble for Radio 4 controller Mark Damazer, who is going to be on the receiving end of his staff's "concern".

The BBC is desperately looking to find out who leaked the document detailing the salaries, which as it asks the government for a whopping inflation-fee busting licence increase (come on it needs it, it wants to pay Jonathan Ross £12.5m) is terrible PR.

What the BBC hasn't done is come out and justified why it pays some of these people so much.

It far outguns commercial radio rivals, so it's not as if it can use the market setting the pace for salaries.

Jeremy Paxman is very good, but is he £1.1m good? He picks up that for 'University Challenge' and 'Newsnight'. Paxman is on 'Newsnight' tomorrow night. It's the second time he has been on the programme this month.

While Cox and co pick up huge wedges of wonga, most Radio 4 programmes presenters are paid between £700 and £1,000 per show. If only they could do 200,000 shows a year they could catch Cox who sweats it out just over 100 times a year.

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