Examination of Witnesses (Questions 1
WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY 2002
1. Good morning, gentlemen. Can I welcome you
to the Scottish Affairs Committee and our investigation into broadcasting
in Scotland. We are very glad to have you here this morning. Can
I ask you for the record to introduce yourselves, and if there
is any short submission you may wish to make, can you let us have
it at that time.
(Sir Robert Smith) Thank you, Chairman.
My name is Robert Smith. I am the Chairman of Broadcasting Council
for Scotland and the Scottish Governor of the BBC.
(Mr Jenkins) I am Blair Jenkins. I am head of News
and Current Affairs at BBC Scotland.
(Mr McCormick) John McCormick, Controller of BBC Scotland.
(Mr Mosey) Roger Mosey, Head of Television News for
(Sir Robert Smith) Chairman, we do have a short opening
statement. If I could say something and then John McCormick briefly
thereafter. First of all we are also pleased to be here. I think
it is about two years ago that we came before you and we spoke
about the wider activities in the BBC. I was actually appointed
as Governor and Chairman of the Broadcasting Council in August
1999. It was shortly after the major debate in the BBC about how
we should actually handle news and current affairs post devolution.
It was also just as the Scottish Parliament was starting up in
August 1999. The Governors developed a strategy for producing
the news and current affairs at that time and the job of the Broadcasting
Council really has been to monitor and assess that. We do that
in several ways: we have monthly reports on progress; we have
the Head of News and Current Affairs come to see us once a year
and explain what he is doing; and this year the whole of the BBC
is looking at news and current affairs and sport as special activities
where we are doing some detailed research. The Broadcasting Council
having assessed what we have done since 1998 is broadly satisfied
with the production of news and current affairs programmes. I
think that is reflected in viewing, listening and also online
statistics. There are, however, areas where we have to remain
vigilant: the split between Holyrood and Westminster and Brussels;
the perhaps occasional "central belt" feel that could
creep into Reporting Scotlandand it is not so much
central belt Glasgow/Edinburgh, but the bit between those two
that occasionally we are accused of not paying full attention
to; and finally, I think, the junction between Newsnight and
Newsnight Scotland, which was a major issue two years ago.
We think there have been huge improvements since then but it is
a difficult thing to handle because, for example, since September
11 we have dropped a lot of opt-outs to Newsnight Scotland
because we have had to follow some big international news stories.
The Broadcasting Council has been very impressed with the cooperation
between Scotland and London in arranging the running order, the
correct handling of areas like transport, health, education, land
reform, which are properly areas for which the Scottish Parliament
has legislative responsibility. That, frankly, did not happen
adequately before devolution. There was not enough contact between
Scotland and London. I would just end by saying that the Broadcasting
Council is going to research and assess whether this package,
that the Governors put in place in 1998 and began to be implemented
in 1999, is actually satisfying Scottish audiences. The right
time we believe to do this is at the end of the first Scottish
Parliament in May 2003. When we look at that, we will take into
account the fact that digital has become a fact of life for a
lot of people, where people have choice, in finding news stories
and the fact that online we now have 1.6 million hits as against
about one-tenth of that last year and by 18 months from now that
will be even more developed. When we have the results of that
investigation, after May 2003 I will discuss that with fellow
Governors and we will decide what changes, if any, we feel have
to be implemented.
(Mr McCormick) Chairman, I would just like to say
a word about the wider context in which we are having this discussion
this morning, the wider context in which you find BBC Scotland,
because I know of the members of the Committee's interest in that.
At the moment we are undergoing an historic rate of expansion
with BBC Scotland's activities. Just a couple of figures could
illustrate that. Our financial year ends 31 March. In the financial
year ending March 1999, for example, our turnover, our investment
into programme making production in Scotland was £94 million.
In the financial year just coming to an end, it is now £140
million. Next year that will increase to £160 million. That
represents an important investment in the wider community of Scotland,
which passes through to the benefit of communities across the
country, and it means in this two-year period the creation of
116 key jobs within BBC Scotland alone. That expansion is made
up in a number of different ways. Firstly, and importantly, as
Sir Robert said, the £10 million of additional investment
in our journalism following the creation of the Scottish Parliament,
and we will be discussing that in detail with you today. But the
expansion has been on other fronts as well. There has been a dramatic
expansion in the programmes we make for the UK networks, mainly
on television but also with some expansion on radio as well. We
are now making much more drama, entertainment, factual and children's
programmes for the UK audience than ever before. In fact, in children's
programmes, to take that specific example, BBC Scotland is the
second centre for the production of children's programmes for
BBC, making some 20 per cent of the totality of it. So we will
be a major provider for the new digital channels, the two children's
channels, which open next month, in February. Then, when BBC FOUR
opens in March the arts and documentaries' channel, that will
give us the benefit of a number of new commissions. And if the
Government gives the go-ahead to BBC THREE, the channel aimed
at younger people, we will be one of its main suppliers of programmes,
programmes made in Scotland for that audience. So there is expansion
in news and current affairs, there is expansion in the network
programmes across the board, and also there has been expansion
in the funding for programmes made specifically for audiences
in Scotland with an additional £14 million investmentthat
is annual recurring investment. In the coming year that will mean
a broader range of entertainment programmes than we have ever
produced before, landmark series and, notably, the subject of
much comment in the press, I have it written down here as a twice-weekly
drama series for 52 weeks a year, but it is a "soap",
reflecting contemporary current issues in Scotland. To produce
that, we have developed a site in Dumbarton as the production
location. A very exciting project: a mini-Los Angeles in Dumbarton,
film sets and studios being created there, and again creating
jobs, many of them targeted at people in the local community.
As Sir Robert said, another important area of expansion has been
in our online services. An example of that: a couple of years
ago we were employing five people producing our online services,
now it is more than 50. So we are expanding on many different
fronts and this business growth comes together in our planning
for our new headquarters on the Pacific Quay site in Glasgow,
planned to open in 2005. That development is a statement of the
BBC's commitment to Scotland. It gives an opportunity to create
something unique in the United Kingdom, a digital media village
on the banks of the Clyde and the site of the garden festival.
With the BBC, Science Centre and like- minded companies, individuals,
agencies and facilities' houses having the opportunity to locate
near each othersomething we have never been able to do
before: it is a very small industry in Scotland but it is dispersedwe
now have the opportunity to bring together and co-locate in an
area of Glasgow where we feel we can bring some economic benefit
and where the agencies and ourselves can benefit from the synergies
of working closely together, where we can create something which
is quite literally bigger than the sum of the parts. It is a development
which should ensure that Scotland is well placed to seize the
opportunities presented by digital technology and to stay ahead
of the field in what is a very, very competitive marketplace.
So, Chair, it is a story of expansion, job creation and more opportunities
than ever before for broadcasters in Scotland.
2. May I just say at this point that after the
formal questions there will be an opportunity for you to add anything
you want. May I kick off by asking you to expand on the effects
of devolution in the structure of news and current affairs broadcasting
in Scotland. Sir Robert spoke, for example, about the Newsnight
opt-out. I wondered if you have had any feedback from the
public about the Newsnight opt-out. For example, recently
I did the Newsnight programme with Kirsty Wark from Westminster.
Although we saw Kathy Jamieson in London talking about the First
Minister situation in Scotland, my constituents in Paisley were
not able to see me because of the opt-out. I could be seen in
London, I could be seen in the whole of England and in Wales but
I could not be seen in my own constituency. I think everybody
round this table has had representations about that and I wondered
if there had been any representations to you about the opt-out.
(Sir Robert Smith) Here is the man who is there at
the time of switch over each night.
(Mr Jenkins) I think, Chairman, it is true to say
we have had some representations on the subject of Newsnight
and Newsnight Scotland, many of those positive, some
of those not positive. The position with the opt-out currently
is that it gets a higher audience share in Scotland than does
the first part of the programme, the network section of the programme,
which we think is interesting and we think helps to demonstrate
that there is a demand for that kind of journalism in Scotland.
I wondered if the programme to which you were referring in your
own case was the programme on the day that the previous First
(Mr Jenkins) Let me elaborate on what happened that
day. The Newsnight UK programme was dealing with the same
story, that was the main issue on the main Newsnight programme.
It was felt between the two production teams that because for
the UK audience, the wider UK audience, a lot of explaining and
catch-up had to be done on what this was about and what was going
on (whereas in Scotland, clearly, we could assume a certain level
of knowledge on the part of the audience of what had led up to
this particular eventand I think in the light of events
this proved to be a justified decision: we had a very high audience
for Newsnight Scotland that night, one of our highest)and
I think that the two programmes, while doing the same issue, the
same story, took a quite different editorial approach designed
for the two different audiences.
4. Have there been any other effects of devolution
in the structure of news and current affairs in Scotland?
(Mr McCormick) One of the key things isSir
Robert began to refer to itthat after the creation of the
Scottish Parliament and this investment of £10 million, there
was also a restructuring; for example, in what we call the news
hour (the Six O'Clock News and Reporting Scotland).
To take that as one of the key hours in the day for us, a
very important hour for all of us across the BBC, the way that
hour was planned and the relationship between colleagues in television
news in London and colleagues in Glasgow was restructured. Maybe
Roger can elaborate on that, Chairman.
(Mr Mosey) Every morning we have a conference call
at the start of the day, which did not used to happen, which features
all the nations joining with editors in London to talk about the
day's prospects and to discuss what we did the day before. We
will have a constant dialogue through the day, so there is a conference
call in the afternoon which brings everybody together to look
at the running orders and so on, and then Blair and I have a healthy
relationship of e-mail and phone calls which we will use to kick
around the bigger stories. For instance, on the day of the First
Minister's resignation we did think it was hugely important that
the UK Newsnight did the story properly, and working out
how we would play our two teams on that is the sort of thing we
talk about all the time. That, frankly, did not used to happen
and it now does. It is hugely beneficial.
(Mr Jenkins) The dialogue now is much more. It is
a good, healthy exchange of views. Perhaps another point that
has not been appreciated publicly is that BBC Scotland is now
managerially responsible for all network news gathering in Scotland
and television news gathering, so that the people who work on
the network news programmes are actually part of the BBC Scotland
operation. One of the consequences of that, I think, aligned with
the fact that there is a growing demand for material from Scotland
from network news programmes, is that there has been a really
quite remarkable increase in the volume of Scottish stories carried
on network television news. Looking at the figures, if you look
at the final quarter of last year as against the final quarter
of 1999, there is almost a tripling of the number of items taken
from Scotland into network UK news programmes from the position
that pertained a couple of years ago. We think that demonstrates
a close working relationship between the news teams in Scotland
and London and I think a much greater appetite on the part of
network news programmes for material from north of the border.
(Mr McCormick) That news hour is now one of the most
successful in terms of audience take-ups, of all our programmes
in Scotland. The Six O'Clock News outperforms its opposite
programme, the ITV early evening news, and ReportingScotland
outperforms the ITV equivalent. So both our half hours outperform
the opposition, with the audience increasing, and indeed Reporting
Scotland is the most popular news half-hour in Scotland, which
is indicative of at least the public coming to the programmes
and supporting them on a long-term basis.
5. You both mentioned about a change in the
way you managerially are structured and the way the organisation
has reacted between the Scottish end and the BBC network. How
does that compare with how changes have happened in the other
regions in the UK? Has it happened to a similar degree in Northern
Ireland, Wales and so on?
(Mr Mosey) Northern Ireland and Wales are involved,
yes. I am careful here about the sensitivities of different nations.
Clearly the amount of devolution in Scotland is more significant
and of a different nature to Northern Ireland and Wales, and therefore
actually I probably spend more of my time talking to Blair than
to Wales or to Northern Ireland, but they are all important. We
try to reflect all nations that we deal with.
6. Prior to devolution, was there already greater
autonomy, if you like, in, for example, Northern Ireland than
there was in Scotland?
(Mr McCormick) Not really, no.
(Mr Jenkins) I can only speak for the last couple
of years but I think it is probably true to say that there is
a more intense relationship, with everything that that means,
between London and Glasgow than perhaps with the other nations.
7. You talk to each other but somebody must
presumably make the ultimate decision on the running order. We
will come on later to the content of news programmes north and
south of the border. There must be a structure. Who makes the
ultimate decision on what goes out in what order in Scotland?
(Mr Mosey) In the end, for national UK news we make
those decisions, but those decisions are informed by contact with
all our colleagues. I think sometimes people all over the UK think
that the people making decisions in London are Londoners who only
know metropolitan lifestyle. I personally come from Bradford,
lots of my colleagues come from all over the UK, and we try to
make decisions based on what we believe is the best UK mix of
stories on a particular day. To give you an example of where I
think now some things come absolutely automatically, on the morning
that Henry McLeish resigned, it was absolutely without question
that it would be the lead on the BBC news, UK-wide, through the
day. ITV, as it happened, took a different view and led with Prince
Charles being hit by a carnation in the Baltic States. I could
not conceive us doing that because we try to take a UK picture.
The resignation of Henry McLeish: a massive storya massive
UK story and a really big Scottish story.
8. Big stories are obvious but on quieter news
days it is not quite so obvious. If you get September 11 or the
volcano in Goma, it is quite obvious it is going to be big news,
but there may be differences on other days. How do you square
(Mr Jenkins) The position is exactly as Roger described.
The running order and the content of a network news programme
is decided by the network teams based in London. If we feel a
story is being underplayed or omitted or overlooked, then that
is where the vigorous dialogue to which we have referred comes
in. I think there is a very positive reception now from the news
teams in London. If either myself or someone else from Scotland
news and current affairs is saying, "You're underplaying
this story," or "It should feature higher in the programme,"
then I think people will take that on board.
9. There was suggestion in some of the papers
about a problem with stories being dropped late from the national
news bulletin, not giving time perhaps for Reporting Scotland
to cover it in depth. Do you find that to be a problem?
(Mr Jenkins) No, not in my experience. The two programme
teams work very closely. It will often be the case that a Scottish
story will be in the Six O'Clock News and then will be
done in greater depth in Reporting Scotland, but in terms
of our own dialogue with our viewers we do not find that that
is a cause of annoyance. They say, yes, they expect to see the
story in the Six O'Clock News and then expect to
see it done in more depth in Reporting Scotland.
10. That is not quite the point I was asking.
The point I was asking was: say Six O'Clock News is on
a Scottish story, whatever that may be, if there is a big news
story break which obviously takes precedence that Scottish story
can fall off the end, if you like. It may not be scheduled to
be put in detail on Reporting Scotland because it was on
the national news. I am asking really whether that is a problem.
(Mr Jenkins) I think the most honest answer I can
give to that is: I am sure it must have happened. I cannot think
of a recent occasion when it did but I am sure it must have inevitably.
News programmes being the way they are, if news breaks then something
has to give. I am not aware of it causing any problems to our
11. Can I go back to the question of Newsnight
again and the question of Newsnight Scotland, something
I support and think has worked well. You talked about an increase
in the number of people watching the Scottish segment for that.
What are the figures for it?
(Mr Jenkins) It is an increase in the share of audience.
From the numbers for the final quarter of last year, the audience
to the first half of Newsnight is on average, I think,
about 108,000, and for Newsnight Scotland it is about 93,000.
So the number watching comes down, but the number of people viewing
television at that time, is in steep decline from 10.30 onwards,
so the share of audience watching the programme, the share of
the total number of people viewing television at that time, goes
up for Newsnight Scotland. The volume of viewers on that
channel as on every other channel is in decline at that time of
night for the very understandable reason that people are going
(Mr McCormick) The UK section of Newsnight
underperforms in Scotland compared with the rest of the UK. The
average for Newsnight is 7.1 per cent in Scotland's share;
the average for Newsnight Scotland is 7.5 per cent. If
you look over the period from September to mid-Decemberdespite
the fact that that is the average over a year that we are talking
aboutdepending on the news events of the week, we can often
have more people viewing Newsnight Scotland at 11 o'clock
than are viewing at 10.30/10.45. What we have found, over analysing
the audience reaction to Newsnight Scotland, is that when
there are very important events in Scotland (be it, say, the debate
on Section 28 or the Scottish qualifications crisis or indeed
the political events surrounding the resignation of the First
Minister) then the audience finds Newsnight Scotland, because
they know that it will be a subject of scrutiny that night in
a way that is not available on any other programme. In the middle
of the fuel crisis, the audience went up to 200,000 after we had
live reports from Grangemouth, with people checking what was actually
happening during that fuel crisis. So a great variation in the
12. Has that been the consistent story since
Newsnight Scotland went on to Newsnight?
(Mr Jenkins) Effectively, yes. Yes, it has.
(Mr McCormick) We are broadly satisfied with the audience.
While we know that it infuriates some people who cannot see the
second half of Newsnight, who do not have a digital receiver
where they can make the choice, it is certainly the case that
if you took away Newsnight Scotland and went to the previous
position we would certainly alienate a large audience in Scotland
who clearly are telling us that we are providing an extension
in the discussion and scrutiny of Scottish affairs.
13. You cannot make the choice any more, because
if you switch to digital now it is still the opt-out.
(Mr McCormick) In digital satellite homes you can
have BBC TWO UK on a separate channel. It is available on a second
channel and we remind viewers at 10.30 frequently, from time to
time, that if you have a digital satellite receiver you can receive
BBC TWO UK and make your choiceand that is the ideal situation.
14. On this general question of how the opt-out
of the separate Scottish programme fits into the whole scheme
of things, are you generally satisfied with the quality of the
opt-out provision both for Newsnight and also Reporting
Scotland? Are you satisfied with the quality as compared with
the UK-wide provision at that time?
(Mr Jenkins) If we could deal with Reporting Scotland
firstand I have quite a strong point to make, I think.
Obviously, apart from our own assessment and the assessment which
other people make and the normal dialogue you have with people
in public life, I think we would go back to the viewing figures,
and currently the audience lead which Reporting Scotland
has over its opposition at that time is greater than it has been
at any time in my experience (and I go back over 20 years in Scottish
news and current affairs broadcasting). It is now quite a considerable
gap against what is pretty good competition on the other channel
and I think that indicates that people are finding a lot of value
in the programme. Reporting Scotland at 6.30 has a higher
audience than any news programme on any channel broadcast in Scotland.
I think that is telling us that it is hitting its mark in at least
some important respects. I think in terms of Newsnight Scotland
it is perhaps in some ways almost the most discussed programme
produced in Scotland, if not ever then certainly for many years.
My experience, as someone who has been involved in the programme
from the start, is that most of the controversy has centred on
the issue of the opt-out: Was it right or not to opt-out of the
Newsnight programme? which was a pretty vigorous debate. But I
would say the overwhelming response to the quality of the journalism
in Newsnight Scotland has been very, very positive and
that comes back from all walks of life. As the Controller was
saying, were that now to be withdrawn for any reason, I think
we would find a great deal of public dissatisfaction.
15. Given the successful figuresand I
am sure you are correctfor Reporting Scotland, does
that then raise the question for what was termed the "Scottish
Six", the news programme directed entirely from within
Scotland? Is that an option for the future again? Where does that
(Mr Jenkins) I assume my colleagues will want to say
something on this as well. I think what I would say about it is
that much of the discussion on Scottish Six took place
pre-devolution, before the Parliament was set up, and we are now
a couple of years in. A lot of the debate on whether or not the
Scottish Six should go ahead, at the time when that debate
was very active, enumerated, if you like, negative aspects of
the current arrangement and some of the positive advantages there
might be from moving towards the Scottish Six. I think
what we would say about the news hour in Scotland at the moment
between six and seven on BBC ONE is that it is clearly working
very well in audience terms. We are getting a very positive response
to it and we think the viewing figures show that. I think the
case for the Scottish Six would have to be not that what
we have at the moment is not working, but that we can identify
ways in which what we do would be better and would be improved
if we moved on to that particular proposition.
16. I am delighted that the Newsnight opt-out
is working as well as it is. You make a good point when you say
that the discussion on the Scottish Six was pre-devolution
and understandably there was a lot of uncertainty about just how
that was going to work. We are now two and a half years down the
line into the Scottish Parliament. Your own evidence this morning
is saying, "We are doing well. We are feeling a lot more
into the international area, the network area of UK news."
Frankly, I think you were timid when you said you were considering
Scottish Six last time. I think you should have had a bit
more courage. Have you got that courage now?
(Mr McCormick) I do not think courage is what we are
lacking. The decision lay with the Board of Governors. The Broadcasting
Council strongly argued the case. Looking at the context across
the BBC, it is the Governors' decision. The Governors decided
on balance that the investment and the changes in structure which
have been introduced since then, the impact of which we have been
talking about, were something that they should see how it worked
before this subject was discussed again. The issue of the Scottish
Six remains on the table and the Broadcasting Council broadly
supports the principle of it. As Sir Robert said, we felt that
the time to go back is to see how the audience is reacting to
the changes we have implemented, to see in fact if that endorses
the Governors' decision that this is a better new service and
in fact is something that they wish to see sustained without any
further change, and the right time to do that was after a full
term of the Scottish Parliament. So it was not courage that was
lacking there. It was a full-hearted, courageous debate, some
of which was represented in the press in a particular way.
(Sir Robert Smith) Can I respond to the courage thing
too. I have never been known to lack courage in these matters
but I think it is important that we get it right and improve news
provision. We were all, if you like, given the Governors' decision
when I came in and I think the right time really is to look at
it after the first session of the Scottish parliament. If you
ask me: Does the Broadcasting Council still hold the view that
we prefer to see editorial control in Glasgow? yes, that is the
view of the Broadcasting Council, but we have not seen trailers,
if you like. We have not properly researched the thing. I think
we will look at that next spring, next May and thereafter. If
we feel actually that there should be a change to that, then I
will be going to my fellow Governors and be arguing for thatand
I will not lack courage in thatbut I would have to be convinced
it is the right thing to do.
17. Different interpretations of courage. You
have said that you would need to be persuaded on the broader editorial
quality, on the quality of provision front that a Scottish
Six would provide a better service. What are you actively
doing to assess whether that is the case or not?
(Mr Jenkins) Like Sir Robert, I have the slight advantage
that I was not at BBC Scotland at the time of the Scottish
Six debate, so I was an extremely interested outside observer
of that debate and fascinated by it. I think we have to be led
by the audience in this. I think we are there primarily to serve
viewers, to serve audiences in Scotland, and if they are telling
us that they feel there is a deficiency in the current arrangements
and in the way that we currently provide television news, then
I think, if we discover that, that is something that would have
to be taken very seriously. But I think it is very important this
remains an editorial judgment and an editorial decision rather
than a political judgment or a political decision. If the arrangements,
as they currently are, are found to be editorially inhibiting
or unsatisfactory, then I think that is one thing. I think that
is what we would want to determine from the research that Sir
Robert refers to next year.
18. I agree absolutely with your suggestion
or your view that this should be an editorial decision not a political
one. I think the worst thing in the world would be if there was
any attempt by politicians to pressurise for either Scottish
Six or indeed for the alternative arrangement. Can I ask,
in terms of assessing the audience reaction on this, the audience
demand for a programme, have you any way of assessing what the
audience has actually beenleaving aside the comparative
figures which are difficult to assess in a vacuum? The figure
for the number of people watching one programme on one channel
will relate not just to the quality of that programme but to that
of the competition as well. Are there ways of assessing what the
audience feels? Have there been any complaints or reactions from
members of the public? Have you done surveys to indicate what
the audience view is? If so, what are the results?
(Mr Jenkins) One of the key things about viewing to
television news between six and seven o'clock in the early eveningand
I am sure this is true in most of the households represented hereis
that it tends to be a pretty busy time in most households. There
are a lot of things going on. Whereas most of us might have a
model of television viewing as quite a linear model, that someone
sits down in front of the television set and watches continuously,
that is not actually how people use television between six and
seven o'clock. What they tell us when we go and do focus groups
and talk to groups of people and ask them is that lots of other
things are going on: kids are being bathed, meals are being prepared,
people are coming and going, arriving back from work and so on,
so television news is in competition with other activities at
that time of the night and that part of the schedule. What that
means, what people do tell us, is that they do like a pretty clear
map of where things are going within that hour. They like to know
where to find things. One of the things people tell you when you
ask is, "As long as I know where the sport is, as long as
I know where the Scottish headlines are." They do want to
be able to have landmarks through that hour where they can find
the kind of content they want, so they know they can tune out
for a couple of minutes to do something else and then tune back
in to pick up again on a part of a programme in which they are
particularly interested. So, yes, that work has been done and
will continue to be done.
19. It does seem to me that there are models
that could be adapted perhaps for television and radio. Good
Morning Scotland is a very successful programme, along the
lines that Scottish Six could be like as opposed to the
Today programme on Radio 4. Exactly the same applies in
the morning as in the evening, so I wonder if any research has
been done as between television and radio audiences, how they
react to Good Morning Scotland as opposed to the Today
programme, and the relation of that to the prospect of Scottish
Six in the same sort of format, as opposed to the opt-out
we have now.
(Mr Jenkins) I think you are absolutely right, Good
Morning Scotland is a very successful programme. It is by
a long way the most listened to speech programme in Scotland in
the mornings and is a very successful blend of Scottish and national
and international news. As you will know and I am sure other people
on the Committee would know, in a sense one of the strongest arguments
made in favour of the Scottish Six three years ago was
the very success of the Good Morning Scotland model. You
are absolutely right, that is something that has to be borne in
mind. I think there are differences between radio and television
consumption, however. On a very basic level, radio is portable,
and whatever you are doing you tend to take the radio with youor
certainly I doso I think it is probably more continuous
than television viewing in that sense. But, you are right, GMS
is a very good model. If we were to do Scottish Six, it
is a very good model for that kind of programme.
(Mr Mosey) I used to be Editor of the Today
programme and I would very happily negotiate with my colleagues
about Scotland, about running orders and how we used resources.
But there are some differences in television. For instance, if
we take the story you mentioned about the volcano last week, we
had one correspondent at the scene and one satellite path out
of there, therefore you cannot actually do the same thing at the
same time UK wide and in Scotland. Therefore, I think one of the
things we would all look at would be about how we preserve quality
for both sets of output. Those are the practical issues that we
would want to look at.