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.
There is already something of a buzz around Richard Sharp, the new BBC Chair, and about what he and Director-General Tim Davie might achieve together as they navigate the corporation towards what we all hope is a post-Covid world.
Inevitably, not everyone at the BBC was pleased that another money man was chosen as successor to Sir David Clementi – himself a former deputy governor of the Bank of England. But many across the TV sector were relieved that a more controversial candidate was not appointed.
The Chair of Welsh–language broadcaster S4C, who has been in post for six months, was talking to BBC Cymru Wales’ media and arts correspondent Huw Thomas.
“The sector is full of creative people… with bold ideas. I want to see S4C being a home for those ideas,” said Williams. “We want to work with large stable companies who can provide that certainty to us with regards to programming, but we also want to work with smaller companies and even people who haven’t produced for anybody in the past.”
To say that Tim Davie has hit the ground running is an understatement. In his first week as the BBC’s 17th Director-General he delivered a remarkably candid speech setting out clearly his values and agenda. A fortnight later, he was the first speaker at the RTS’s Digital Convention 2020, when he was interviewed by the Society’s CEO, Theresa Wise.
In a tough stance reflecting sentiments articulated in his maiden speech as DG to the BBC on September 3, Davie told that RTS that “talk is cheap,” and that actions on greater representation of those from minority ethnic groups in the BBC workforce was essential.
“There’s been incredible progress on screen but internally – and senior leadership is critical to this – progress and the speed of change has been slow,” he said.
Watch Tim Davie, the BBC’s Director-General, in conversation with Theresa Wise, RTS CEO.
This is Tim's first interview since being appointed the 17th Director-General of the BBC.
Covering areas from audiences, diversity and inclusion, to the BBC internationally and online development, this is a comprehensive and exciting exploration of Tim’s vision for the future of the BBC.
The session is part of a number of online events from leading industry figures for RTS Digital Convention 2020, sponsored by YouTube.
Some BBC director-generals are a reaction to their predecessor. After the remorseless strategising of the John Birt years, Greg Dyke was chosen to bring the human touch to staff who felt unloved. When Dyke turned out to be a little too populist and freewheeling for some, the governors opted for a more cerebral traditionalist in the form of Mark Thompson.
Are we at peak unscripted content? Session chair Tim Davie noted that – while there was no short-age of good news for the genre (18 of the 20 top-performing original programmes on broadcast TV in the US that summer had been formatted entertainment) – there were worrying signs for the genre. The UK was still producing hit formats, but margins were declining and it was no longer the fastest growing market for original formats.
It is one year on from one of the biggest and most controversial shake-ups in BBC history – the £400m formation of BBC Studios. Now, the BBC is ruffling feathers again as it merges this recently created commercial production division with BBC Worldwide to create a single company with revenues of £1.4bn.