Former Vice President, Marketing and Franchise for PepsiCo Europe, privately educated (Whitgift School) Tim Davie is the new Director-General (DG) of the BBC.
His first role at the BBC was Director of Marketing, Communications and Audiences – appointed in 2005. That department’s and its director’s role should never be more than advisory within the BBC and there should not be a promotion route from being its director to DG. However, in the last two decades, the status of Marketing, Communications and Audiences was elevated beyond an advisory role and pushed the BBC toward a business chasing ratings.
Davie’s commitment to audience numbers’ priority over historic BBC principles was demonstrated by his decision to attempt to shut down 6 music when he was Director of Audio & Music. He failed abjectly to understand the importance of such a radio station and saw only listener numbers. His decision was overturned by the BBC Trust following pressure from music fans and artists.
His focus on ratings will exacerbate the decline of the BBC. Coupled with fear of Tory cuts – funding will reviewed by the government in 2022 – Davie’s market-oriented philosophy will erase innovation and lower the standard of information and education.
Reduction in quality will be most visible in news programming. Driven by the combination of ignorance and fear of Tory cuts, BBC’s interpretation of balance and impartiality in news broadcasting, concepts that were woefully misunderstood by Davie’s predecessor Tony Hall, will become more warped. Investigative reporting and intelligent analysis will be further reduced in favour of news-as-entertainment with ill-informed charlatans espousing offensive nonsense as guests on newsnight or politics live.
Davie understands customer numbers and he understands acquiescence to the Tory government. He has no understanding of quality in broadcasting of which he is ignorant and ignorant of his ignorance.
In 2018 Davie received a CBE from the Tories “for services to international trade.”
Davie was chair of Hammersmith and Fulham Conservative Association.
Mark Doran on Tim Davie
Tony Hall is clueless about balance