The challenges of a shifting TV landscape will be discussed by television executives at this year's RTS Cambridge Convention, chaired by BBC Director-General Tony Hall.
Few media initiatives during the pandemic have been as successful or as significant as the expansion of the BBC Bitesize education service. For parents attempting to homeschool their offspring while also working from home, having famous faces such as Marcus Rashford or David Attenborough helping children with their lessons was nothing less than a lifesaver.
Speaking at an RTS webinar the BBC’s director of Radio and Education, James Purnell, said that the organisation effectively moved overnight to launch its popular and widely acclaimed home education initiative.
“Amazingly we provided an entirely new education service in lockdown – ten hours of new TV a week, 150 lessons a week, which hit a chord with the public,” he said.
Bitesize Daily lessons attracted record numbers as three million children tuned in on day one.
Telling the story of its launch, successes and what it means for BBC Education moving forwards. As TV productions come back into focus, James will also talk about the challenges of keeping BBC Radio going in lockdown and how new radio productions and programmes will be made post Covid-19 in this event chaired by journalist and broadcaster Miranda Sawyer.
James Purnell: ‘From a PSB perspective, we now see a real chasm between the way we are going to be regulated.
‘The Charter agreement is a set of incredibly detailed guidance to Ofcom – children’s programmes, history, religion, current affairs, 100-plus quotas.
‘We wouldn’t wish that on Channel 4, but, looking at what has happened with Bake Off, there is a huge difference between the way we are regulated, and… now there is a question about whether that is right.
‘Channel 4’s lighter touch should be looked at.’
Who will own the future – the broadcasters, the content owners or the global tech behemoths, such as Google, Facebook and Apple? The question is not new, but it is becoming ever more pressing for people in television.
James Purnell, the BBC’s Director, Strategy and Digital, led this comprehensive opening debate, “Happy Valley or House of Cards? Television in 2020”.
The preliminary programme for this year's RTS Cambridge Convention has been announced.
The convention, held on a biennial basis, brings together leading figures from the television and its related industry.
This year's event looks forward to television in 2020, focusing on the challenge for content, creativity and business models.
The programme features sessions covering foreign ownership of UK production, the rise of the smart phone in television viewing, and the influence of talent in programme-making.
John Whittingdale is a conundrum. A politician who can seem old beyond his 55 years, he has been in Parliament since 1992, nine years longer than David Cameron. And, although only a few years older than his boss, Whittingdale’s style and political heritage are soundly late-Thatcher era, with a voting record that is pro-fox hunting and anti-gay marriage.
Yet, the freshly minted Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport also confounds stereotypes of the shire fogey with a mild interest in Gilbert and Sullivan.
For an insight into the day job of the BBC Director-General two years into his role, I pop into Tony Hall's plate-glass eyrie at New Broadcasting House. I arrive in the aftermath of one of the regular encyclicals that DGs dispense.
He's sung the praises of the BBC's place in a "thriving, free and competitive market", an alternative to what a colleague terms the "Joni Mitchell" school of heartstring-tugging about the Beeb's innate brilliance.