Letter to the Chairman of the Culture,
Media and Sport Committee from BBC Director General Mark Thompson,
5 April 2011
Thank you for your letter of 24 March, in which you
express disappointment that banded information on BBC talent salaries
is not yet in the public domain. Please accept my apologies for
the delay in replying.
While Sir Michael Lyons committed the BBC to greater
transparency over talent salaries in July 2010, he also identified
a number of legal and contractual issues to be overcome before
the information could be released. Our legal and business affairs
teams have been working to address these and we reported back
on our progress to the BBC Trust in January. At that point a decision
was made to publish the CMS Select Committee's bands in the forthcoming
At that time we will publish the data for two full
years to demonstrate the continued downward pressure we are applying
to talent fees. We were unable to release this any earlier as
we only reached the end of our financial year 2010-11 last week.
The 2010-11 spend will now be audited alongside the rest of the
BBC's financial statements and will be completed by June, ahead
of publication in early July.
I hope this reassures you that we are making good
progress with the Chairman's request.