Salaries of all BBC presenters and ‘talent’ earning more than £150,000 a year will have to be routinely published, Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has said.
Despite extensive lobbying by the broadcaster, which claims the rule will make it easier for rivals to poach popular faces, the new requirement is included in the BBC’s next Royal Charter which was published in draft form today.
The new charter follows publication earlier this year of a Government White Paper setting out reforms of the BBC’s governance which will now be split between a new board and media regulator Ofcom.
A mixture of BBC executives and non-executive Directors will sit on the board, and despite initial plans by the Government, Bradley today confirmed that the majority would be appointed by the BBC, thereby ensuring its independence from Ministers.
Scrutiny of the BBC’s finances will now fall to the National Audit Office.
The new Royal Charter will run for 11 years and safeguards the BBC Licence Fee throughout that period.
Mrs Bradley MP said: “The BBC produces world class programming that is admired and respected by millions around the world.
“The BBC’s next Charter will help it adapt to the changing digital world and continue to thrive into the future.
“Licence fee payers have a right to know where their money goes. By making the BBC more transparent it will help deliver savings that can then be invested in even more great programmes.”
Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC, has described the new Carter as “hard won” and says it will “deliver the strong and creative BBC the public believes in.”
Although Lord Hall and the BBC remain unhappy about requirement to publish talent pay, he said “overall” the new arrangements are “the right outcome for the BBC and its role as a creative power for Britain.”