The BBC should offer Licence Fee payers “world-class creativity”, new Director-General George Entwistle has said.
On his first day as the BBC’s new boss, Entwistle said he would simplify the BBC’s top-heavy management structure.
He also promised “to put the emphasis where it belongs – on creative people doing creative things; on our audiences and the exceptional quality of work they deserve.”
Addressing staff he said: “Though our best is often brilliant – in some of our output, we do settle for less than we should. So I believe we owe our audiences a determined effort to raise the creative quality of what we do.”
Entwistle used his first day to reduce the BBC’s management board, from 25 to 12, and also announced the closure of the Operations division.
He said: “With immediate effect, I’m reorganising the BBC to group all the operational and finance functions in one business division under the Chief Financial Officer.”
As a result of the changes Chief Operating Officer, Caroline Thomson, will leave the corporation at the end of September.
Full text of George Entwistle’s speech to staff:
Good morning everybody.
I am privileged to have been asked to lead the finest broadcasting organisation in the world – following a period of extraordinary success into a period of extraordinary change.
I do this with a sense of honour, responsibility and great excitement.
My good fortune is to inherit from Mark Thompson an organisation in robust health – one that in this amazing year has reminded us on many occasions what it’s capable of achieving.
Mark was a remarkable Director-General. He walked into a BBC on its knees, but he picked us up and has given us eight years of farsighted and totally committed leadership.
He goes to the New York Times with my personal gratitude for the many occasions he’s helped and guided me; and with all our best wishes for the next chapter in an outstanding career.
Now, as you know, I was an “internal” candidate for DG – and that’s a matter of some pride to me. It means I know this place pretty well. I know what works brilliantly – what we need to build on. And I know what holds us back – the things we need to stop.
Almost twenty-three years ago to the day, I sat in the old reception of this wonderful building in my new suit, about to start as a Broadcast Journalism trainee. I had to pinch myself to believe I had the right even to walk through the door…
My first proper attachment was in this building too. I worked on The World Tonight, where I cut quarter inch tape with razor blades, drank whisky implausibly early in the afternoon and did journalism that genuinely mattered for the first time in my life.
Since then I’ve spent years as a producer – in News, Current Affairs and Television. I’ve tried to ask awkward questions on Panorama, with On the Record, and as the Editor of Newsnight. I was a pioneer of Out of London: leading the Culture Show from bases in both Glasgow and White City.
I’ve been a commissioner, moving Panorama back to primetime. And as a Controller and Director, I’ve brought parts of the BBC together to make more sense of our Science, Arts and Music output across all our platforms.
I’m telling you all this only to give you a sense of who I am.
I’ve been able to look at this organisation in lots of different ways. I think I know how it ticks. I know what it means to work here.
I recognise, when we’re at our best, the inspiring focus on quality and truth; the bewildering volume and range of ideas generated every day; the determination, the commitment, the teamwork and the sheer hard slog.
But I’ve also seen what doesn’t work.
We’re not unique in having these problems and I think you’ll recognise most of them: the silos, internal competition, the duplication, the jockeying for position. And at its worst, the leaking, the briefing against other people and other departments – and the sheer waste of energy and money that results.
In an increasingly competitive and demanding world, we can’t afford to squander either. So I want to try to lead the BBC in a way that re-invokes the pride I believe we all felt on our first day; the sense that this is the place where we can all do our best work – for an organisation I’m still proud to describe as intrinsically valuable, fundamentally worthwhile.
I’m speaking today from Studio B in New Broadcasting House – home to the Andrew Marr Show and, from October, Newsnight. This is the broadcast heart of our newest building – an assertion in glass and steel of our confidence in the future of the BBC.
But new buildings are only a means to an end. There’s really only one thing which should give us abiding confidence about the future – and that’s the love of our audiences; the value they place upon what we do.
That’s why this is a genuinely great time to take over as DG.
We’re only just getting our breath back after an extraordinary summer, at the centre of which was the most successful piece of event broadcasting in a generation.
Our coverage of the Olympic Games across TV, radio and online reached over 90% of the UK population, more than 52m people on TV alone, and was considered high quality by 94% of that audience.
Who would have thought that the most talked-about moment in an Olympic Opening Ceremony would be a film created by BBC Drama featuring The Queen and James Bond?
And I still struggle to believe the size of the audiences – in excess of 28 million people – watching as the Games opened and drew to a close. No-one has seen anything like it for years.
The way we produced our Olympic coverage achieved something we know we have to be the best at – bringing the nation together. But it also brought us together. It really made the place do more than just feel like One BBC. For a few glorious weeks we were One BBC.
The challenge I face now is to justify the faith placed in me to lead this amazing organisation by making us as good as we were during the Olympics, all the time.
Let me set out for you what I think needs to happen next; a picture of the kind of BBC I want us to be and what we’ll have to do to get there. In short, a BBC focusing on creativity and run solely for that purpose.
I’ll start with what I think the BBC is for.
When you strip it down to basics, our purpose isn’t complicated or challenging. We have a time-honoured compact with the UK public. In return for the licence fee, our task is to bring output of outstanding creative originality to as many people as we can reach.
Reith’s famous mission statement commits us, I believe, to all the genres in which we seek to do those things today. To news and current affairs when we set out to inform; to the full panoply of factual output and our children’s services when we seek to educate; and to music, sport, entertainment, comedy and drama as we strive to entertain. At our best we often deliver all three parts of Reith’s vision in every one of our genres.
But I want to focus here less on our breadth and more on the essence of what I believe we’re about.
Our task is to serve the public, who pay for us, and whose licence fees make us independent. Our independence from everyone except our audiences gives us one core responsibility – to deliver content of outstanding creative quality whenever and wherever we can.
So if we’re clear about what we should be trying to do, the question that follows is obvious. How are we doing?
The best of what we produce today is as good as, or better than, it’s ever been. I’ve talked about the truly exceptional standard of our Olympic coverage. Many other things this year have inspired me:
Sherlock, Call The Midwife and Luther on BBC One; Radio 1’s programme of coverage and outreach surrounding the Hackney Big Weekend; BBC News’s reporting of events in Syria; another brilliant Proms across radio and TV; the return of the documentary series Our War on BBC Three; the exceptional filmed Shakespeare plays of The Hollow Crown on BBC Two; Radio 4’s magisterial New Elizabethans; the sheer eccentricity of Great British Bake-off; and the sublime writing and bravura acting we’re currently seeing unfold in Parade’s End.
But does all that mean we’re already there? Does it mean, as some of the pundits have written, there’s nothing for me to do?
That’s not how it looks. I believe that meeting our side of the deal with audiences demands even more from us.
They think our programmes and content are the most original and of the highest quality they’ve ever been. But there is still a gap between how they rate us now, and where they expect us to be.
And though, as I’ve said, our best is often brilliant – in some of our output, we do settle for less than we should. So I believe we owe our audiences a determined effort to raise the creative quality of what we do.
We’re not used to hearing this. I’ve been guilty at times of presenting the best as representative of the rest. But I think it’s time to admit to ourselves we can do better.
I don’t mean by that, we can’t afford for anything ever to go wrong. We just won’t be trying hard enough if nothing goes wrong.
But I want everybody in the BBC to ask themselves this: am I using the extraordinary gift of public trust and public money to be original enough about the things I produce?
Am I doing enough to challenge, lead, surprise and delight the people who pay for us?
I know it often isn’t easy to do better. Many of the pressures of the broadcasting industry – cost constraint, tight deadlines, tired people – reduce our work to commodities. But the BBC has less reason than anyone else to produce programmes that “will do”.
I know being better will require time, effort and commitment.
But this is what we’re for…
I want to make a promise – a promise to listen to you and to work tirelessly on fixing the things that get in the way of high creative quality, making the BBC a place where you really can do your best, and deliver the best of British creativity to our audiences.
In return I want you to keep asking yourselves: is this thing I’m working on as remarkable and original as the BBC licence fee payer deserves? And if not, what can I do to make it better?
Although I can’t mandate improved creative quality, I can help it return to centre stage by telling you that nothing is more important to me…
I can also give you a sense of where I think we might start to look for some new creative opportunities.
Over the next couple of years, a combination of events we’re creating ourselves and events we know we’ll be covering will give us the chance to take the Olympics formula and make it work again.
In 2013 – the 50th Anniversary of Dr Who; a TV and radio focus on music, including Glastonbury; BBC Two’s Year of Invention; Wimbledon with our new grandslammer Andy Murray; and a possible Natural History Unit Summer of Wildlife.
In 2014 – the output we’re already planning for the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War; the football World Cup in Brazil; the Winter Olympics in Sochi; and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Every one of these – to a greater or lesser extent – is an opportunity to apply the lessons we learned from the Olympics about how to work with one another – and not place the narrow interests of programme, channel or service ahead of those of the audience.
How to collaborate to make output events bigger, bring more people into the frame and once again make the statement: only the BBC can do things with the ambition, scale and quality that bring the whole nation together.
But setting your creative sights as high as possible is only one side of the deal. The side I have to deliver is making sure I turn the BBC into an organisation where creative success never has to be achieved in spite of our structure or management.
And that’s the next subject I want to turn to. I want to show you how I believe we can make the BBC a more creative place to work.
Starting today, I intend to change the way we’re led to put the emphasis where it belongs – on creative people doing creative things; on our audiences and the exceptional quality of work they deserve.
How do we achieve this?
To be successful, we have to restore creativity to the heart of the BBC’s internal conversation. That means spending more time talking with our colleagues about what it is we produce and how we do it. It demands honesty, trust, openness and the willingness to share ideas if it’s to make a difference.
I want to spend as much of my time as possible hearing people talk about how they tackle their creative challenges and what help they need to do so more effectively still.
In my time at the BBC, I also worry that I’ve seen the quality of our own critical conversations decline. I’ve seen a culture emerge where only the experts are encouraged to say what they think. This isn’t healthy.
We’re all consumers of modern media and we’re all qualified to have an opinion. We all know when a character in a drama isn’t convincingly drawn; we’re all entitled to point it out when a reporter misuses the word “refute”.
A culture reluctant to criticise itself is a culture heading for trouble. So I think it’s vital we re-establish, in private, the practice of robust self-criticism – that we become more demanding of ourselves in order to make our output better still.
I’ll be asking our leaders – including all editors and executive producers across the BBC – to help me achieve this. I’m looking forward to working with people across the organisation, programme by programme if that’s what it takes; giving people the skills, support and encouragement they need to get this sorted out.
I guess many of you won’t be surprised to hear me go on about creativity. We all know it’s what matters most. But my conviction is that at the moment we don’t always behave as if it’s what matters most. I think we can put that right and in a moment I will set out how.
But first I want to turn to the financial challenges we face.
Please don’t think I’m asking you to find this new focus on creative excellence oblivious of our financial circumstances. We still have a flat licence fee settlement; we still have important and expensive new commitments. Sadly for me, changing DG doesn’t make all the tricky stuff go away.
But I want to take a moment to say how proud I am that we will soon be funding the BBC World Service from the licence fee.
It is in many ways a perfect distillation of BBC values – an ambassador of fairness, accuracy and impartiality to the whole world. I believe no longer being directly state-funded will be to the benefit of its reputation for independence.
But more broadly speaking, it just isn’t possible to change the financial fundamentals. And even as we strive to absorb the 16% cut we planned in DQF, we must not turn our backs on the opportunity we have – secured by the certainty of our funding – to go on producing amazing things. We must not waste time lamenting lost budget. The key to reconciling these two issues is to ensure the money we do have is focused exclusively on output.
In the last few months we have renegotiated a series of major infrastructure contracts and in the process saved tens of millions of pounds. The key to money in future is not to waste a penny. But our finance specialists aren’t the only people who know where inefficiency is and where savings might be made.
It’s often people on the frontline who really know where money is being wasted. We have to listen to them. I’ve seen early results from the latest staff survey and – worryingly I think – it shows that only 26% of you feel you’ve been asked to help in identifying where savings could be found. That’s no good…
Secondly, we have to be clear about making sure responsibility for spending and saving money is pushed far enough down the organisation, with our people trusted to spend wisely.
I believe we have to empower people to save – all our people.
I believe we will encourage them to do that by allowing them to keep some of what they save and give it back to their audiences in the shape of better-funded output.
I’ve asked Zarin Patel, our Chief Financial Officer, to begin urgent work on how to develop our existing savings programme so it no longer feels like something the centre of the BBC does to content makers.
I intend to ensure that everyone in the BBC understands how they can play their part in making sure we spend the public money we get as efficiently as possible.
But let me end this part of my remarks by emphasising one thing: in the immediate term, we must all apply ourselves as vigorously as we can to finding the savings we need to make DQF work.
Because the alternative is to go back and work out which services or programmes we shouldn’t produce any longer. And I don’t want to do that.
With that 16% DQF reduction, on top of a 25% cut to our online budget, I think licence fee payers see us as about the right size. And while our private sector competitors would undoubtedly like us to get smaller, they present no evidence our audiences share their ambition.
Now I want to turn in detail to the way we’re organised and the changes I believe we have to make to realise my ambition – a more creative organisation, led and managed in a radically simplified way.
To do this, I believe the first task is to bring an end to the sense of there being two BBCs – the corporate centre and the rest.
As Director of Vision I myself fell into the trap at times of becoming a representative of my division to the centre. With every other creative division director behaving a bit like that too, we arrived at a place where the most senior people in the BBC didn’t always think about the interests of the organisation as a whole.
This can be sorted out. We must be run by a tight, collegiate team of creative leaders whose responsibility is to the BBC as a whole.
Again the new staff survey is disturbing here: only 42% of you believe the BBC’s senior managers apply the BBC values in the way they work. BBC leaders absolutely must set the right example to the whole organisation.
I believe the top level changes to managerial structure I’m announcing today will help fix things.
This morning I held the first meeting of the BBC’s new Management Board. This smaller team, replacing BBC Direction Group and reduced in number from around 25 to just 12 people, will be responsible for the effective running of the whole organisation. I’ve asked everyone on the board to ensure they work in the interests of the broader BBC in all the decisions they take.
As a further step towards radical simplification, I’ve decided we no longer need both Finance and Operations divisions.
With immediate effect, I’m reorganising the BBC to group all the operational and finance functions in one business division under the Chief Financial Officer. I believe this will play a vital part in simplifying the way we work so that a sharp focus on our creative purpose can be maintained by everyone at all times.
The final organisational change I want to mention is that I’m returning Lucy Adams as Director of BBC People to the Executive Board.
The BBC is nothing if not its staff. To prosper in future we need to bring urgent and sustained attention to how we recruit, retain, reward, develop and inspire the people who work here. No-one is more important to me – except our audiences – and I aim to run a BBC which makes it feel that way.
The change to Operations, however, does mean that Caroline Thomson and I have agreed the time is right for her to leave the organisation.
I want to mark this moment by paying tribute to Caroline’s enormous contribution to the BBC over many years. She was pivotal in winning the last charter for us, when her impeccable strategic leadership helped deliver a clearly defined ten year mission for the BBC, securing our purposes and funding through to 2016.
More recently, she’s delivered a strikingly successful Digital Switchover Programme, which will come to an end next month in Belfast, on time and under budget. She has also shaped and led the biggest transformational projects of the last few years, making possible this building and the BBC’s new home at Media City in Salford – plus the recently announced sale of Television Centre, a brilliant deal by any standard. Caroline will leave at the end of September and will take our affection and gratitude with her.
I should also tell you that Zarin Patel has agreed to lead the new business division we’ve designed. I’m looking forward to working closely with her over the coming months to create a genuinely simplified BBC support structure which will help us make the most of our money, and underpin the drive for greater creativity. Zarin has said she intends to leave the BBC within the next 12 months, after having set up the new Finance and Business Division with me.
One final thing about people. I’m very pleased to be able to announce today that Fiona Reynolds, outgoing Director-General of The National Trust will be taking over from Marcus Agius as the BBC’s senior independent non-executive director in December. Marcus steps down after six years of tremendous service to the BBC; my thanks and warmest wishes go with him.
We have a great deal to learn from Fiona about what it takes to build an exceptional relationship with your public, following her tremendous success at the National Trust. I am delighted she will bring her wisdom and energy to the Board.
We’re putting some charts – I’m sorry, there had to be some – on the intranet so you can see how things are changing in detail.
I hope you’ll recognise that the organisational changes I’m announcing signal in the clearest possible terms the direction this organisation must take in future: more output of outstanding creative quality from a BBC led and managed in a radically simplified way.
My ambition is to lead an organisation where there is no confusion about what we’re for – irrespective of where you work. I believe all our staff in support roles should systematically be given more opportunities to understand and connect with our output. That would be another step towards my goal of creative renewal…
And that vision of a unified BBC extends to BBC Worldwide too.
In my judgement it will be increasingly difficult – in the years ahead – to remain successful in the UK without scale and success overseas too.
We have everything we need to be one of the major international media brands: a peerless reputation for the quality of our News, amplified every day by the endeavours of the World News teams; and a vibrant presence in many markets built around major pieces of BBC content such as Top Gear, Doctor Who and Dancing With The Stars.
What we cannot endure is the possibility of there being a perceived gap between the values and purposes of the public service here in the UK and our international presence as delivered with burgeoning success by BBC Worldwide.
In the BBC I run, we will seek and achieve a close connection between the two arms. I believe the qualities that make the BBC so distinctive and so well loved here in the UK also make our output a powerful commercial proposition internationally.
There need be no conflict between them. Though if ever it does arise, it will always be resolved decisively in favour of the UK licence fee payer.
Over the next few years I want to see improved levels of collaboration, common values and purposes, and a shared understanding of just how important it may turn out to be for Worldwide to continue its impressive growth and pay dividends back to us, its owner.
I’m dwelling on the idea of a united, single-minded BBC because I believe that’s a critical precondition for winning the arguments we’ll have to engage with to secure our future.
But, as I said at the beginning of this speech, it’s just a precondition – because only one thing will actually guarantee our future: creative output of such outstanding quality that the British licence fee payer simply refuses to do without the BBC.
So let me turn now to the future and what I think it holds.
Our current Royal Charter is a grant of rights to the BBC which we honour by the fulfilment of that creative promise. In short, we can’t argue for a new charter in 2017 and a renewed licence fee unless our output is of the highest quality and our audiences love us for it.
But if we believe we can deliver that – and as I’ve made clear, it must never be taken for granted – what else do we need to think about in the years to come?
Well, the key task is to understand the stage we’ve reached in the ongoing digital revolution.
Today, we are loved for our brilliant content – I’m delighted to say – but we are also prized for the way we assemble that content, the settings we put it in – the way we make sense on our audience’s behalf of a world where there’s often just too much going on.
And it’s our role as an editor – a chooser on people’s behalf – that explains the durability of our traditional services in the digital age. In an imaginary world of perfect information, where everyone always knew what they wanted and when they wanted it, digital on-demand would already have triumphed. But we don’t live there.
That’s why I’m confident in predicting our wonderful TV channels and radio stations have a great deal of life left in them; they should be cherished and sustained as long as our audiences value the choices they make.
But despite my confidence in the strength of our foundations, two moments of profound change await us.
The first lies in distribution. Broadcast, which has served us so well, is an increasingly expensive and challenging environment. The privileges of the BBC now – open access and gifted spectrum – can’t necessarily be guaranteed in the future and in some cases are already under threat.
I believe we must fight with resolution to protect platforms like Freeview that have done so much to sustain the finest free-to-air television in the world, but it’s almost certainly the case that what lies in store for us is more distribution of our services via the internet.
We’re going to have to think this through and be ready to meet its challenges.
The other moment of profound change will flow from this potential evolution of our distribution arrangements.
The BBC is rightly thought to have done well in the early stages of the digital revolution. iPlayer has been feted for its superbly engineered platform, which set new standards in video streaming, and a user interface that made catching up on the TV you’d missed a pleasure. But while celebrating all that, the real key to iPlayer is the unmissability of the content it offers.
Even in our near-miraculous coverage of the Olympics, I would say that we’ve taken – joyously – our capacity to present and distribute existing forms of content to their natural limits rather than innovate to discover genuinely new forms of content.
Yet it’s the quest for this – genuinely new forms of digital content – that represents the next profound moment of change we need to prepare for if we’re to deserve a new charter.
As we increasingly make use of a distribution model – the internet – principally characterised by its return path, its capacity for interaction, its hunger for more and more information about the habits and preferences of individual users, then we need to be ready to create content which exploits this new environment – content which shifts the height of our ambition from live output to living output.
We need to be ready to produce and create genuinely digital content for the first time. And we need to understand better what it will mean to assemble, edit and present such content in a digital setting where social recommendation and other forms of curation will play a much more influential role.
Now I believe an organisation run, for decades now, around the existing platforms and the content they define for themselves – radio and TV – is going to find it hard to get ready for that. A television or radio organisation can always be forgiven for obsessing only about the creation of television or radio.
To be ready for the world into which a new Charter would take us we will need to change the way we’re organised.
So, in around two years time, my aim is to have restructured the BBC – with fundamental implications for A&M, Vision and Future Media. To be ready to create and curate genuinely digital content, we will need to integrate all three disciplines – definitively. We need to ask people from all three to work more closely together in order to imagine ourselves into the space where a new kind of content is possible.
I promise this won’t be a repeat of the bi-media experiment many of us lived through in the 1990s, where people who loved and were good at one thing were asked to do another.
But it will mean a careful reconstruction of some of the output structures of the BBC. My initial view is that a genre-based approach will give us the right way forward.
The progress News and Sport have made in testing the boundaries of our existing content forms suggest to me that genre structures pool expertise and challenge conventional thinking to the right degree.
But I don’t intend to dictate such a radical change for the organisation as a whole without careful planning and consultation.
And I guarantee I will do nothing which puts at risk the radio services and TV channels our audiences love.
This Autumn, I’m going to lead a project which will make recommendations about what the BBC’s future structure should look like. And I will supervise it closely myself to ensure that we don’t in any way put at risk our capacity to serve existing audiences via existing services with content we know they regard as indispensible.
I have one further theme to explore this morning. It’s all about who I mean when I talk about “we” – and the power I believe proper partnerships can unlock.
What we have created here at the BBC is a brilliant culture through which money intended for creative production is converted into high quality output. In a lot of places we do the production ourselves – through BBC staff and the amazing tradition of public service to which they are the heirs. I believe this must continue.
In-house production is a vital mechanism through which we guarantee editorial standards, protect specialism, create intellectual property with commercial potential for us and ensure we are an intelligent purchaser – with public money, after all – of television made for us by others.
But the “we” I use about the BBC embraces every one of our partners too – the independent companies who make so many excellent TV and radio programmes for us; the wonderful theatres, galleries and museums we collaborate with to produce work like 100 Objects, Your Paintings and The Space.
The UK has the good fortune to have inherited a tradition of public service content creation which permeates both public and private sectors. I believe the BBC is the cornerstone of the entire edifice, but we should never forget that it’s our partnerships that allow us to deliver vital parts of the contract with our audiences I’ve talked about today.
And I believe the coming years will demand a major scaling up in our engagement with partners.
The next stage in this process must see us abandon Fortress BBC once and for all, and show how the public money invested in us can be put to work systematically for the benefit of more and more of the UK creative sector – in a way which serves their audiences as much as it does our own.
The best glimpse we have of what this might look like is The Space – the first time a major BBC project, delivered in a true partnership with Arts Council England, has gone live to the delight of audiences without even carrying our logo.
Making ourselves easier and better to work with means all of us need to think hard about how we get on with people and cultural organisations outside the BBC, so I’m asking Public Affairs and Strategy to consult with the output divisions and lead concerted planning on this across the Autumn.
Before I take questions, I want to say a couple of things about the kind of Director-General I’d like to be.
I like working in an environment of creative confidence and respect – where nothing is unsayable, so long as you find the right way to say it. In an organisation characterised by honesty and trust we will be able to make the improvements we need.
I believe in giving credit where it’s due. Wherever you’ve seen or heard outstanding work I hope you’ll take the trouble to tell those who really are behind it how impressed you were. I will try to do the same.
If ever you’re praised for someone else’s work, I hope you’ll put the record straight.
I like the idea of an organisation which believes it can make itself better; which doesn’t fold its arms and accept that self-evident inefficiency is the way things have to be.
And my aim is to do one thing above all others: to be accessible, to talk to people and find out what’s going on – to fix any nonsense I find and to support everybody I can in their determination to be more creative, avoid wasting money and serve our licence fee payers as well as possible.
I love the BBC and I believe in it. In 23 years here I’ve been at various times elated, despairing, encouraged, disillusioned and inspired. But I haven’t once faltered in my conviction about the value of what we try to do. I aim, therefore, to be a stalwart defender of the BBC when press and critics turn against us unfairly. I don’t believe you have faltered either. In the same staff survey, 97% of you say you’re committed to playing your part in helping the BBC deliver great programmes.
At its heart the BBC is about striving to make our world a better place. I think I understand how far that motivates most of the people who work here; and I believe my combination of deep affection and occasional frustration might be the right starting point to help make things better.
I’ve talked about a lot of important things today, but I want to leave you with some straightforward ambitions.
First and most important – we must not stint in our efforts to improve the creative quality of what we produce. That’s what we’re for and it’s the only way to nourish our relationship with our audiences.
Secondly – we must change the way we work together, and the way we manage ourselves, to support our central creative purpose, and support it at the right price.
Third, we must build a better understanding of what rapid technological change will demand of us in future and we must transform our organisation to be ready for it.
And finally, we must supercharge our appetite for partnerships with cultural organisations of every shape and size so that the BBC can truly claim to stand where it belongs, at the heart of UK creative endeavour.
There’s only one thing that will guarantee the future of the BBC – the continuing love and trust of our audiences. We need to build and sustain that love – through a digital future of some uncertainty – by striving always to bring outstanding creative originality to as many people as we can.
That’s how I want to lead the BBC.