Newspaper exec cries foul at BBC's online success
Newspapers are having a hard go of it and now a prominent UK media exec has blasted the BBC for intruding into its territory.
(Have a look at my previous posting, Another ordinary day of newspapering fatalities).
The problem is it takes a while to figure out how to do make news on the web work, and the Beeb has done the work. What Johnston Press chief executive Tim Bowdler wants to know is whether it's fair for a taxpayer subsidized outfit should be allowed to compete (and beat) traditional news media. Chow through this:
The long-running row between local commercial media and the BBC was reignited last night as the chief executive of one of Britain’s largest regional newspaper groups told an industry forum that the corporation should not be allowed to carry out its plan to roll out local television services online.
Johnston Press chief executive Tim Bowdler told the Westminster Media Forum that the BBC’s local ‘Where I live’ web sites are already damaging regional newspapers’ online development. Further encroachment into local markets by the Corporation would further undermine commercial media’s investment in online video services, Bowdler said.
The BBC, said Bowdler, “has the unique luxury of the licence fee which, unlike advertising revenues, is guaranteed to increase each year”.
“In a crowded marketplace, audience reach is critical in attracting advertising revenues and the handsomely-funded BBC has the potential to distort local markets and to deter the very investment which would otherwise increase diversity and plurality of voice which we would all like to see.
“The BBC should not be allowed to launch new services which compete in markets already well-served by established commercial players. There is no clear evidence to suggest that there is an unfulfilled public need requiring the BBC to launch ultra-local TV services.”