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June 02, 2008

Is Johnathan Ross Overpaid?

Is Johnathan Ross Overpaid?

Johnathan Ross

This is an important issue for media students as well as license fee payers. It is quite clear that few people think that somebody like Jonathan Ross is worth £6 million per year which is greater than most British film Budgets!  I very much doubt that ITV would want to pay that much. What evidence is there that people are attracted to Johnathan Ross rather than some other presenter? 

People are so incensed that the BBC Trust was forced to look into the matter. The PDF with the trust's findings is available here.

I haven't read this yet but will comment more in depth in due course, however the reports I heard on Radio 4 this morning didn't convince me. It is precisely this kind of attitude pretending that there is a "market price" which has led to large numbers of overpaid executives in businesses. There has been a furore about this as shareholders are getting fed up with this. The fact of the matter is that the Prime Minister of this country gets a paltry sum by comparison yet the level of responsibility is incommensurable.  Look how many good scientists, doctors etc there are who are well paid by many standards but at least they make hugely important contributions to the long-term benefits of society, I don't think anybody could say that of Johnathan Ross. The levels of pay of the doctors, scientists etc are paltry by comparison with Ross and his ilk. This is an issue of people getting their priorities right.

I may well be a strong supporter of the license fee but the BBC has to remain far more accountable. In an age of fragmenting audiences and the gradual demise of mass TV audiences as we know it this money could be far better invested elswhere and it should be!

I strongly suggest writing to your MP as well as complaining to the BBC. The fact that the BBC Trust report was written by the sort of people who fundamentally support the discourse of "The Market" which has allowed top executive pay to get out of hand should make us very wary of the true independence of the report. I think a full open Parliamentary enquiry into this is what we should expect.


BBC story on Johnathan Ross . June 2008

BBC on BBC defence of Ross pay deal 2006

Stage Blogs

Independent on BBC Trust Review June 2007

Guardian reports on MPs involved in Ross pay row July 2006

This London report that ITV Exec attacks Ross pay deal

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