New BBC director general Tim Davie used his opening speech to staff to argue the corporation needs to make less content but with a much higher impact.
He said a priority must be “unique, high-impact work that is loved” as “we are surrounded by global players with monster budgets. We must pick our battles carefully and make sure we get the biggest bang for limited bucks.”
He said that the BBC has made a mistake in trying to compete on every level and must choose where to fight the global giants. “The truth is that we have tried to cope with increasing competition by making more and spreading ourselves too thinly.”
He said the BBC had often been “too slow to stop things that don’t work.”and duplicated work between different parts of the business” which “limits money for new ideas and for investment into things which are working well.”
He said that as a result “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.”
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