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1   / Reunions / Re: TO 29 (50 years)
 on: Feb 20th, 2018, 6:56am 
Started by Amigo | Post by Bill Jenkin  
Do you want me to put a link to this notice on a Facebook group page "memories of working at BBC Television Centre"?
I will also put it in an email group Tech-ops.co.uk which I know has at least one member of TO29 (Graeme Wall).

2   / Reunions / TO 29 (50 years)
 on: Feb 18th, 2018, 8:59pm 
Started by Amigo | Post by Amigo  
TO 29

Are you one of the many engineers and operators who started their BBC career at ETD Wood Norton on the 9th September 1968?

The large intake of staff, once they had passed the terrifying examinations at the end of the course, were dispatched to their future studio centre.

It is hoped to celebrate this auspicious date.

If you would like to express your interest in any possible event, please send an email "  TO29 (at) gmx.com   ".

Nothing is planned yet, so any ideas would be welcome.
Do you know of anyone who was at Wood Norton at the same time? If so please let them know.


3   / News and Comment / HMRC wins case
 on: Feb 15th, 2018, 3:58pm 
Started by Administrator | Post by Administrator  
HMRC has won a tax-case against ex-BBC Leeds presenter Christa Ackroyd.

It is likely that this may well affect other 'famous names'.

The Guardian has a report here, and this BBC report says that Ms Ackroyd might face a tax bill of £420,000.

"Ms Ackroyd said: "The contract issued by the BBC has now been deemed a contract of employment rather than freelance and is as such subject to different tax rules.
"That it has taken five years is an indication of the complexity of IR35 legislation regarding freelance broadcasters.
"As you can imagine I have suffered five horrendous years of innuendo and gossip suggesting I am a tax cheat. This judgement proves once and for all I am not.""

"'Common practice'
A BBC spokesman said paying Ms Ackroyd via CAM [CAM was Christa's personal management company] was "standard industry practice at the time" when she was taken on in 2001.
He added: "Until last year it was for individuals with service companies rather than those engaging them to determine their status for tax purposes.
"The use of personal service companies is entirely legitimate and common practice across the industry as it provides flexibility for both individuals and organisations.
"An independent review conducted in 2012 found that there was no evidence that the BBC had attempted to avoid income tax or NIC by contracting in this way.""

The Guardian says that HMRC is probably investingating about 100 more BBC presenters, and 'stars' from other broadcasters.  

The full judgement is here.

4   / News and Comment / BBC starts Distribution Consultation
 on: Feb 12th, 2018, 10:12pm 
Started by Administrator | Post by Administrator  
BBC launches distribution policy consultation

The BBC is required by its Royal Charter and Framework Agreement to develop a strategy and policy for distributing its output and services. The Agreement states that before publishing that policy the BBC must consult the public and Ofcom. That consultation period begins today and runs until Monday 9 April 2018.

Effective distribution is vitally important for the BBC and its ongoing ability to inform, educate and entertain audiences. The more effectively and efficiently the BBC distributes its services, the more valuable they are to people. The lower the cost of the distribution the more the BBC can spend on British content for audiences to enjoy.

The Charter and Agreement notes that the BBC must do all that is reasonably practical to ensure audiences are able to access UK public services intended for them in a range of convenient and cost effective ways. In doing this the BBC may impose reasonable conditions under which its output and services are made available to third parties – and this must not adversely impact fair and effective competition and must be fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.

In order to achieve these aims the draft policy published today sets out seven conditions that form the basis under which the BBC will distribute its UK public services:

(a) Prominence - the placement of BBC content and services relative to those of other providers should be in line with audience needs and expectations
(b) Editorial Control - the BBC retains editorial control of its content and its placement
(c) Branding and Attribution - users should be able to easily identify which content on a platform is provided by the BBC
(d) Quality - users should be able to enjoy a high quality experience of BBC content and services
(e) Data - the BBC should have access to data about the usage of its services
(f) Free Access - users should incur no incremental cost to access BBC content and services
(g) Value for Money - arrangements should maximise cost-effectiveness of distribution to the licence fee payer

The BBC will require each of these seven conditions to be met, but will consider each case on its individual merits and compliance may be a matter of degree.

The public, stakeholders and Ofcom are now invited to comment on the policy and the BBC will consider their feedback before publishing its final policy.

Copies of the BBC’s draft distribution policy and distribution strategy can be found here. Further details of the consultation can be found here.

From BBC Press Office

Here is the BBC's Draft Distribution Policy in pdf format.

"The BBC's Distribution Strategy" is here which includes...

"The BBC’s duty to ensure value-for-money in its distribution activity sometimes reveals trade-offs. For example, further expansion of the DAB network or delivering every regional variant of BBC One in HD via broadcast should only be implemented if and when the costs are proportionate to the audience value they would deliver. In the context of an audience-led transition to internet-delivered services, the BBC will deprioritise investment in technologies that it is confident will be superseded."

"With the recent change in the law that requires audiences to hold a valid TV licence to watch BBC iPlayer, the BBC has sought to put in place adequate measures to inform and verify users. The BBC currently relies on self- verification (audiences confirm that they hold a licence fee), but will consider other solutions and fulfil the review of verification processes which it is required to conduct under the BBC Agreement21. Options to implement verification against a licence fee database will be considered should it be necessary as the number of internet-only households increases. The BBC’s means of distribution must therefore support self-verification solutions and have sufficient flexibility to support full verification if introduced."

5   / News and Comment / "Rajar" UK Listening Figures
 on: Feb 11th, 2018, 8:00am 
Started by Administrator | Post by Administrator  
The latest RAJAR figures are available here (it's a big file!).

Coments are here,
and for a review of National Stations here,
and HOW people listen, here.

(RAJAR (Radio Joint Audience Research Limited) was established in 1992 to operate a single audience measurement system for the radio industry in the United Kingdom.
RAJAR is jointly owned by the BBC and the RadioCentre. Prior to this, the BBC and RadioCentre’s predecessor (The CRCA) carried out their own measurements independently of each other.)

(Thanks to Rajar and Mediatel)

6   / News and Comment / Re: TV Centre Re-opens
 on: Feb 10th, 2018, 11:20pm 
Started by Administrator | Post by Delboy  
I feel sorry for the staff denied redundancy and forced to work at the 3 "temporary" studios at Elstree.
Their return to TVC was originally delayed for almost 2 years, but now I hear that it may be longer.
Apparently ITV are doing a major refurbishment, making staff redundant & booking 2 of the 3 new studios at TVC for up to 2 years.
As a result the "temp" studios at Elstree are to be kept open, but the real kicker is that apparently the BBC is recruiting ITV staff facing redundancy to work on the ITV shows at TVC.

7   / News and Comment / TV Centre Re-opens
 on: Feb 10th, 2018, 7:40pm 
Started by Administrator | Post by Administrator  
Here is a brief glimpse inside the re-vamped TV Centre.

8   / Pensions / Re: Prospero-Benefits Package,February 2018 edition
 on: Feb 10th, 2018, 9:01am 
Started by WG | Post by V Meldrew  
I reached the State Pension age at the end of April 2016, just a few weeks after the introduction of the higher rate. I had thought that I would get the higher rate, but because I had been contracted out by working for the BBC, that ws not the case.

In fact I was told that under these new rules, I should have got less than under the old rules!!  My pension could have been only £60 a week. The Government Pension Service told me that due to these changes, I would not lose out and my pension became about £120 a week.

I  doubt if anyone who is a BBC pensioner could get the £164 a week.

9   / Pensions / Re: Prospero-Benefits Package,February 2018 edition
 on: Feb 9th, 2018, 3:19pm 
Started by WG | Post by Administrator  
Prospero (February 2018) may be found as a pdf file here.

10   / Pensions / Prospero-Benefits Package,February 2018 edition
 on: Feb 9th, 2018, 2:36pm 
Started by WG | Post by WG  
Have noticed the above fairly recent regular editorial addition to Prospero-usually on page 2- and always read it with interest. In the feb article on State Pensions,, it occurs to me that BBC Pensioners , in receipt of a BBC pension,might be confused by the paper's summary of impending 2018 rises in their State Pension. In the article, reference is correctly made to a higher rise- in £ terms-being given to those in receipt of the new State Pension in comparison to those receiving the old.
I think I am right in assuming that whilst there are indeed BBC Pensioners who may be receiving the new State Pension--very few-if any, will be receiving the FULL new £164.34 amount.  
I've read umpteen times elsewhere that when the new State Pension came into play-you only got the full amount of that at state pension age because you were not in possession of a company pension?
A BBC pension IS a company pension.