There is a lot of speculation kicking around at the moment about who the next Director General of the BBC will be.
I don’t think that one person can realistically be expected to turn around the fortunes of the corporation on their own, irrespective of how good they are. I worry that the BBC is following the obsession that we, as a society, currently have with importance of personalities/celebrities. If this leads to a belief that getting the “right” person will solve everything the BBC will bounce from one problem to another.
Before the BBC worries about who will be its new leader it should decide what kind of organisation it wants to be. What should be the balance between news and entertainment, between serious and light programming, between its domestic and international output etc. etc. Form should then follow function and the skills needed by the ne Director General should follow from that.
Some people are taking this as an opportunity to call for the BBC to be broken up or for the licence fee to be scrapped, those might prove to be the right answers but let’s take a moment to ask some questions about what we want, deserve and expect from the BBC before we settle on a course of action which cannot be undone.