Claims have been made and reported in various media organisation that Prime Minister Johnson is ‘strident’ about broadcaster’s reach being scaled back, according to the reports, No 10 may be preparing a massive change for the BBC with a threat to scrap the television licence fee and turn it into a subscription service.
The Sunday Times quoted a senior source as saying that the broadcaster could be forced to sell off most of its radio stations in a “massive pruning back” of its activities.
According to the source, a blueprint is being drawn up that could see the BBC turned into an optional subscription service meaning millions of UK residents would no longer be obliged to pay for the BBC TV licence in order to fund the BBC’s activities.
Under the plans, the BBC could be forced to sell off the vast majority of its 61 radio stations however the big players such as Radio 3 and Radio 4 would be safeguarded from the plans to axe stations.
The Sunday Times quoted one source as saying: “We are not bluffing on the licence fee. We are having a consultation and we will whack it. It has got to be a subscription model. They’ve got hundreds of radio stations, they’ve got all these TV stations and a massive website. The whole thing needs massive pruning back.
“They should have a few TV stations, a couple of radio stations and massively curtailed online presence and put more money and effort into the World Service which is part of its core job. The PM is firmly of the view that there needs to be serious reform. He is really strident on this.”
The words of warning come after the BBC chairman, Sir David Clementi, last week tried to defend the licence fee system, he warned that putting the broadcaster behind a paywall could undermine its ability to “bring the country together”.
The Prime Minister’s aides have also recently launched attacks on the BBC with one source telling the Sunday Times: “It’s an outrage that people who make their profile at public expense should seek to give themselves further financial rewards and personal gain,”
They continued: “They’re basically making their names on the taxpayer and cashing in. The BBC should immediately halt this practice and give the money to good causes.”
A No 10 spokeswoman has declined to comment on the remarks made.
Editor-in-Chief | Carl D. Pearson has been involved in British politics and media from an early age, with the key knowledge of what it takes to run a news organisation for the 21st century. Mr Pearson, as Editor-in-chief, is responsible for supervising the daily tasks of publishing media and content to UNN’s website and various platforms.
This content was sourced from Unity News Network.