Keeping the staff happy

Unlike Dyke, who suffered trouble because of the fallout from the BBC's coverage of the Iraq War and The Hutton Inquiry, the one defining crisis of Lord Birt's time as DG of the BBC came from his own workforce. Unfortunately for Birt, he was unable to keep his troops happy. In reality, the rights and wrongs of the Producer Choice controversy can never be decided upon by scientific investigation or a mathematical formula. The success or failure of the policy depends to a large extent on whether one supports the idea having what economists refer to as a 'mixed economy' inside the BBC. Birt´s remit was to make the BBC more answerable to the taxpayer and he could argue this is what he did, but that doesn't mean his policies worked in terms of making the corporation more accountable to the viewer or workforce. Plus, not everyone who wanted to save the taxpayer money would have been exactly content with music producers being given a budget with which to then spend on renting compact discs from the BBC library. The money may have been getting reinvested back into the BBC money tin but to many on the outside the whole process seems quite odd and a complete waste of time.

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