Tom Bradby, political editor of ITV News who bagged the first interview with Prince William and Kate Middleton after their engagement was made public, has criticised the inflated salaries of senior journalistic staff at the BBC.
Responding to revelations made over the weekend that Andrew Marr was paid £600,000 annually by the BBC; Bradby used a series of Twitter updates to lay into BBC bosses for paying such exorbitant fees.
He accused the BBC of outpacing its commercial rivals in terms of salaries to senior journalistic staff, saying things had got out of control and that the corporation had created ‘its own internal market”.
‘I like him [Marr] a lot, think he words hard and is very smart, but £600,000? Seems a lot,’Bradby told his Twitter followers.
‘No one in ITV News is paid anything like this, so where is the market for all these BBC figures being paid such vast sums?
‘I mean, who else will employ them at that level? I assume it means Huw Edwards and all the others also paid a very great deal.
‘The trouble, it seems to me, is that the BBC started to become an internal market about eight or nine years ago, which is to say the stars started to compare their wages to each other, rather than to anyone outside.
‘But I think it is really hard to justify in any time, let alone right nowâ€¦
‘During the first ten years I worked for ITN, there used to be a much greater sense of parity between the BBC and us.
‘But over the last ten, that has gradually disappeared. It’s really something when a commercial broadcaster struggles to compete against one funded by millions of people on very modest wages.”
On Saturday it emerged that Marr’s payslip had been left in the wrong pigeonhole and had been opened by a colleague revealing that he is paid nearly £600,000 a year.
Marr is understood to be an exclusive deal lasting four of five years, taking his total package to around £3m.
Bradby went on to say he didn’t blame Marr for accepting such a deal but questioned the sense of management to pay it.
‘A few people have raised Adam Boulton. My guess is he is probably on more than 400k, but he is by far and away the biggest name on Sky News,’Bradbury added.
‘He is central to their brand. And, so far as I am aware, he is the only person in commercial news and current affairs paid at that levelâ€¦
‘And no, I am not jealous. I get perfectly well paid. I have just really noticed a disparity opening up over the last ten years or so.
“And by the way, I am not having a go at the BBC. I like the BBC. I keep saying how great I think Newsnight is. But I do think some things have got out of control.”