BBC director general Mark Thompson has claimed that the corporation has been tougher on bonuses and executive pay than any other public company or broadcaster.
Despite ongoing criticism of executive pay at the BBC and a recent grilling from author PD James – while she acted as guest editor for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme – Thompson has maintained that pay for BBC bosses was fair.
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In an interview with Ariel, the BBC’s in-house newspaper, Thompson said: “We’ve been tougher on bonuses and executive pay than any other public company or broadcaster.
“The public sector pay debate will continue … but we’re not a county council. If you want someone to run BBC One or develop iPlayer, you need the very best people in the world. And they’re paid much less here than they would be at ITV or Sky.”
Figures released last year showed 37 BBC staff – not including on-screen talent – earned more than the Prime Minister’s salary of £198,000.
Baroness James, a former BBC governor, labelled the salaries “very difficult indeed to justify” in an interview with Thompson on the Today programme last week.