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BBC star wages: Gary Lineker takes pay cut as Zoe Ball shoots roster



Gary Lineker and Zoe Ball


Gary Lineker and Zoe Ball are now highest earners on all-star salary list

Match of the Day host Gary Lineker has agreed to a 400,000 pay cut, the BBC has revealed, releasing the latest list of its highest paid presenters.

Lineker was the highest paid star with an unchanged salary of 1.75 million in fiscal year 2019/20.

But he has since signed a new contract, which will see those fees reduced by 23%.

This means he could earn less than Zoe Ball next year. The Radio 2 presenter has seen her salary increase by a million since taking over the breakfast show in 2019.

Fiona Bruce and Lauren Laverne have also joined the top 10 highest paid stars, which for the first time has four women. Vanessa Feltz is also one of the best employees, the company’s annual report indicates.

However, many stars do not appear on the list because the company’s commercial arm, BBC Studios, does not have to publish its spending on talent.


From left to right: Vanessa Feltz, Lauren Laverne and Fiona Bruce are also in the top 10

The 10 highest-paying presenters on this year’s list are white, although BBC chief executive Tim Davie said 18% of those earning over 150,000 were of black, Asian and minority descent (BAME ), compared to 12% four years. since.

“We’ve made good progress, if you look across the industry we’re in a good position, but we have some work to do,” Davie said.

And while 26.5% of the actors and presenters were from BAME backgrounds, that was another story behind the camera, with 9.8% of the production staff from ethnic minorities.

The report also showed that 12.3% of BBC executives were BAME, below its target of 15% for 2020.


George Alagiah is the highest paid person of color on the list

Lineker’s new salary will be posted on next year’s list. General manager Tim Davie described the former England player as a brilliant broadcaster and said his new five-year contract was a prime example of “the best talent and the best value for money”.

“And before you ask the question, Gary knows his responsibility to the BBC in regards to his use of social media,” added Davie, referring to social media rules for BBC staff and presenters which should be announced shortly.

Lineker, a prolific tweeter who frequently discusses his political views online, said the BBC “Acknowledge that I tweet carefully and will continue to do so,” and messaged the “haters” on Twitter.

The stars of some of the biggest BBC shows – like Top Gear and Doctor Who – are missing from the list because they are produced by BBC Studios.

The Ball’s Strictly Come Dancing It Takes Two spin-off is produced by the Commercial Branch and is therefore not included. But his salary has increased as it is his first full year since taking over from Chris Evans on Radio 2.

The top earners last year included three women – Ball, Feltz and Claudia Winkleman.

Overall, the BBC’s total payroll for on-air talent in 2019/20 increased from 1 million to 144.6 million, while the salaries of the BBC’s executive committee rose from 4.95 million to 5.41 million.

Conservative MP Julian Knight, who chairs the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Department’s select committee, said the general increase in salaries for on-air talent was “concerning.”

He said: “Despite Gary Lineker’s pay cut, as millions of retirees have to find extra money to pay for the BBC and the services they depend on, it is worrying that not only is the talent bill on air has grown by over $ 1 million but over 100 senior executives are paid over 150,000 a year – in many cases far more than that. “

The overall gender pay gap at the BBC fell from 6.7% to 6.2%. Former chief executive Tony Hall pledged to close the gender pay gap by 2020.

Mr Davie said “it was a very aggressive target”, adding: “We can be proud of our progress but we have to go further”.

He said he wanted to increase the number of women in the leadership ranks, where the figure is currently 45%, below the target of 50%. “It’s about leaders, not talk, but action,” he said.

There are “a small number of historic equal pay cases” to resolve, according to the report.

This annual report contains many complex messages, but it is likely to lead to straightforward and negative headlines for the BBC.

The salary list for on-air broadcasters – which includes me – reflects three years of reform.

As part of these reforms, many broadcasters – especially but not exclusively men – have either taken big pay cuts (Huw Edwards, Jeremy Vine, etc.) or left the BBC (Chris Evans, John Humphrys leaving Today, Eddie Mair).

Today, several broadcasters – especially but not exclusively women – have had pay increases.

Importantly, the salary increases for these female broadcasters (Zoe Ball, Fiona Bruce, Lauren Laverne, Emily Maitlis) reflect additional work.

The overall salary increase for those whose salaries are published – around 1 million – is not, in financial terms, huge, considering the number of people it relates to and the salaries themselves. Indeed, it is lower than inflation, and therefore lower in real terms.

However, the optics are bad for the BBC. The complexity doesn’t come from the high salary stories.

The simple fact is, at a time of immense hardship across the country, with so many laid off or on leave and in arrears, these huge salaries (and their modest overall increase) will seem outrageous to many license fee payers. .

The other big story concerns the finances of the BBC. In the medium term, they are in great demand. It is striking that by the end of next year the BBC has achieved around 800 million in savings in just five years.

But the fact that license fees did not rise with inflation between 2010 and 2017, and the 125 million affected (at least) by the coronavirus pandemic, is a huge injury to the results for the coming year. .

And that’s before you even wonder if a generation that spends so much time on TikTok, YouTube, and WhatsApp feels the need to pay for a TV license.

What else did the BBC’s annual report say?

License fee revenues fell from $ 170 million to $ 3.52 billion in 2019/20, in part due to the breakout. Overall, the BBC’s overall income fell by 119 million.

There was growth in commercial income from BBC Studios, and company chairman Sir David Clementi said a willingness to increase such income would be “even more pressing” as there will be “major financial pressures on the BBC “in the years to come.

The coronavirus pandemic means the organization has faced “significant challenges” and will need to find additional savings beyond those already planned.

The BBC has already saved 618 million since 2016/17, and that figure is expected to exceed 800 million by the end of the current fiscal year, according to the report.

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