New BBC director-general Tim Davie delivers a vision for a less-is-more approach as he looks to guarantee the corporation’s future.
New director-general Tim Davie has outlined a philosophy of quality over quantity as he looks to steer the BBC through one of the most turbulent times in its history.
The corporation has significant cost-savings to make across its operation in the coming years in order to balance the books, while Davie must also do battle with the government to secure its funding through the licence fee beyond 2027.
Davie takes up the post of DG having spent seven years successfully managing the BBC’s commercial arm BBC Studios, and in his maiden speech on Thursday he suggested that he will be taking a more business-minded approach to running the organisation.
“The truth is that we have tried to cope with increasing competition by making more and spreading ourselves too thinly,” he said. “Of course, we need to offer a broad choice as the BBC, and we should not retreat to a narrow offer. But we have been too slow to stop things that don’t work.
“And we duplicate work between different parts of the organisation, not making the most of ideas across one BBC. This limits money for new ideas and for investment into things which are working well.
“A creative, innovative organisation needs the space and money to make new things happen. If we try and do too much we can feel starved of the financial oxygen to breathe life into new creative ideas.
“So we are going to do something quite simple. We are going to look in all areas and identify how we can have more impact by making less.
“I want us to consider what we would do if we could only make 80% of our current hours. What would we stop? To be very clear, this is not about cuts to save money, it is about re-allocating funds to where they generate most value – to ensure that we make our output world-beating and utterly distinctive.”
Davie went on to vow that he would cut down on “bureaucracy”, reduce the overall headcount – including the previously-agreed 900 job cuts across News and Nations & Regions – and operate a strategy of reducing “duplication, layers and overheads”.