The BBC has drawn up a shortlist of four in its quest for a new director-general, according to an exclusive report in The Guardian
, which reveals that the list includes Will Lewis, the outgoing chief executive of the publisher of the Wall Street Journal
, and two of the corporation's most senior executives – Tim Davie and Charlotte Moore. The final contender is understood to be another woman. The successful applicant will take over from Tony Hall when he stands down later this year.
reported: 'Davie continues to be seen as the front runner for the role – among the biggest jobs in British broadcasting. A former Procter & Gamble and Pepsi marketer, Davie previously ran the BBC's audio and music operation and acted as director-general during the [Jimmy] Savile crisis, before Lord Hall was appointed. He is currently the chief executive of BBC Studios, one of the broadcaster's commercial arms.
'His colleague [Charlotte] Moore, who works on the licence fee-funded side of the corporation, is the BBC's director of content with a £1 billion budget responsible for hit shows including Bake Off
. BBC insiders keen to see the role kept in-house say an elegant solution to potentially keep Davie and Moore could be to split Hall's dual roles as director-general and editor-in-chief.'
says the wild card is Will Lewis, 51, who has just finished a six-year stint at Dow Jones. He has an extensive background in journalism, having worked at the Financial Times
, Sunday Times
and Daily Telegraph
, where he became the youngest editor-in-chief and oversaw the newspaper's investigation into MPs' expenses. It is understood that the whittled-down list of candidates until very recently included a senior executive at Amazon UK.
'Whoever lands the role of director-general will face challenges from all sides,' predicts The Guardian
. 'The BBC is facing a mid-term review of its charter in 2022, which will focus on the cost and long-term future of the licence fee. [Prime Minister] Boris Johnson, who has had a combative relationship with the BBC since last year's General Election campaign, has talked about decriminalising non-payment of the annual £157.50 licence fee. The corporation has said such a move will cost it hundreds of millions of pounds. While the corporation is widely viewed as having proved its worth as part of British life during the coronavirus crisis, it remains highly probable that by the time of charter renewal in 2027, the broadcaster will be funded by an alternative mechanism.
'The BBC is also facing another round of cuts after revealing that its income will fall by £125 million due to the coronavirus crisis. TV licence-fee income will be down as door-to-door enforcement activity stops during the pandemic. The BBC has also been hit by the decision to delay the introduction of the licence fee for most over-75s, which had been due to come into effect this year but was deferred when older people were asked to self-isolate.'
The Scottish newspaper industry and community titles have received a most welcome financial boost from the Scottish Government – thanks to a
£3 million public health information marketing partnership involving advertising. This is in addition to the advertising already being published as a result of the campaign run in newspapers by the UK Government.
Announcing the Scotland-only deal, the Scottish Government said the investment should 'provide a valuable economic stimulus' for the newspaper industry north of the border. The Scottish Government's Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes, explained: 'Scotland's newspaper industry plays a vital role informing the public on COVID-19 developments and its impact. The Scottish Government will continue to share public health messages in Scottish papers and on their digital sites.
'That will cover national, regional, local and, critically, community newspapers across the remainder of the year. It is specifically for Scottish newspapers and it will mean that some Scottish newspapers will be the only ones in the UK to get double the funding because of the importance that we place on getting our message across at a time when the UK Government is diverging from the three other nations, and on ensuring that there is economic support in place.'
The Scottish Newspaper Society's (SNS) director, John McLellan, said: 'The SNS is delighted that the Scottish Government will be investing in our titles and it is recognition of the key role our titles play in communicating effectively with communities up and down Scotland. Newspapers are no different to any other business in feeling the full effects of the COVID-19 crisis, but this investment will help ensure that our publications are in a much better place to survive the crisis. The Scottish Government also recognises that news publishers' platforms, especially local ones, are vital conduits for companies large and small to market their goods and services as they rebuild in the recovery'.
Earlier, the UK Government had vowed to keep publishing public health advertisements in regional papers across the UK, saying it would continue to run the advertising campaign in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, 'where it complements the positions of the devolved administration after its official advice for England diverged from that issued in the other nations'. The Westminster Government changed its official advice on dealing with coronavirus in England, with its headline slogan now urging the public to 'Stay Alert'. The Scottish Government opted to retain the previous 'Stay at Home' message, thus creating a potential issue for newspapers in Scotland which are participating in Westminster's current 'All in, all together' public information campaign.
However, a UK Government spokeswoman confirmed: 'Although we have confronted this virus as one United Kingdom, it has spread at different rates across the country and the response needs to be flexible. We will continue to run UK Government advertising where it complements the positions of the devolved administrations – for example on testing and symptoms. The UK Government is supporting the devolved Governments with testing, funding and logistical support from our armed forces. No one part of the UK could face this pandemic alone, and the UK Government has provided unprecedented support to every part of the UK'.
Mail on Sunday
deputy political editor, Harry Cole, is the new political editor of The Sun
. He takes over from Tom Newton Dunn, who after 16 years at the tabloid is to be a presenter and chief political commentator at Times Radio – the station owned by News UK which also owns The Sun
, The Times
and the Sunday Times
, and the Wireless radio station group. Times Radio launches this summer. Newton Dunn, who regularly reviews the papers for Sky News
and ITV's Good Morning Britain
breakfast show, will continue to write for The Sun
Cole rejoins The Sun
from the Mail on Sunday,
where he has been deputy political editor since 2018. He was previously Westminster correspondent for The Sun
after leaving political blogging site Guido Fawkes
. He has also worked as a contributing editor for The Spectator
. Newton Dunn joins a line-up for Times Radio which includes journalist and presenter, Aasmah Mir, who has left the BBC after 20 years to host the breakfast show with the Times Literary Supplement's
editor, Stig Abell, who is also the station's launch director. Abell, 40, was managing editor of The Sun
from 2013 to 2016. John Pienaar left his role as the BBC's deputy political editor to host Times Radio's drivetime show, while Cathy Newman will host a weekly show in addition to her role at Channel 4 News
The chief executive of Vice Media Group global media conglomerate, Nancy Dubuc, has urged industry leaders to stand together against 'Big Tech giants' such as Google and Facebook, saying their 'squeeze' on news publishers 'is becoming a chokehold'. Media website Press Gazette
reports that Dubuc made the plea when announcing plans to cut 55 jobs in the US and around 100 elsewhere in its worldwide empire.
Dubuc's plea came in the same week that BuzzFeed News
closed its news-gathering operations in the UK and Australia; Quartz cut 80 jobs and closed its London office; the Economist Group cut 90 non-editorial roles and stopped printing its 1843
magazine; and newspaper publisher, Midland News Association, warned that 90 jobs were at risk.
Dubuc declared: 'While Big Tech has brought wonderful things to our lives, they are also posing a great threat to journalism. We grew our digital business faster than anyone at a time when we believed that as more pies were baked, we'd keep getting a slice. We work hard for that slice – we make great shows, write culture-driving stories and break news on issues no-one else wants to touch. But we aren't seeing the return from the platforms benefiting and making money from our hard work. Now, after many years of this, the squeeze is becoming a chokehold. Platforms are not just taking a larger slice of the pie, but almost the whole pie. And while the crescendo has been building for some time, now it is more clear than ever – 36,000-plus lost jobs in journalism [in the US] is enough to take your breath away'.
A report by Pew Research Centre in the US in April found a loss of about 36,000 newspaper jobs in the country between 2008 and 2019. The UK experienced a net loss of 245 local newspapers between 2005 and the start of 2019, according to Press Gazette
research. Dubuc added: 'I worry about the day that I fear is fast approaching, when I wake up and everything I see, touch and know is because a few machines filtered my view by "optimising" the world around me for the sake of more growth and more revenue. The world has learned this before: monopolies are not a winning strategy for humanity. It's time we stand together as a media industry and address the serious issues that have slowly eroded the original promise of the internet: a tool to bring society on more equal footing through knowledge and creativity unparalleled'.
The Thomson family, which owns Dundee-based publishing empire, DC Thomson, is in 7th place in the Scottish table of wealth revealed in the latest Sunday Times
Rich List. The Thomson family's wealth is estimated at £1.407 billion – up £6 million on last year. In 12th place is author J K Rowling with an estimated fortune of £795 million – up £45 million on last year.