Fiona Hyslop proposes “federal BBC” and broadcasting reform to corporation chief


Culture Secretary advances plans for new Scottish television and radio channels

FIONA Hyslop has proposed a federal BBC, including greater funding for domestic broadcasting, to its director general Tony Hall.

The plans for reforming the BBC into a federalised structure with separate national boards, and with new tv and radio platforms for Scotland make up the Scottish Government’s recommendations to the BBC’s charter review of the organisation.

Quoted on the BBC , Hsylop said: “Scotland has the right to expect something truly radical from the BBC charter review if the organisation is to meet the needs of audiences or support the development of a sustainable production sector in Scotland.

“To reiterate, we’re calling for a federal BBC, with at least a board for each nation that should comprise a mix of BBC staff and independent members,” she added.

Hyslop also said that Scotland needed new independent services, to make up what she said was a shortfall in funding for BBC Scotland: “We’re also calling for the creation of a new TV and radio channel to support the demands of audiences and the TV sector in Scotland,” she said.

“These proposals must be supported by a proportionate share of the BBC licence fee, addressing the current mismatch between the PS335m income for the BBC from Scotland and the PS190m spent here, of which only around PS35m is spent on TV production for Scotland,” she added.

The meeting comes after statements by Hyslop in September that organisational and editorial control for BBC Scotland should be independent from the UK wide corporation.

Previous proposals to reform the BBC, including the Scottish Broadcasting Commission, have largely been ignored.

A spokesperson for the BBC said: “We recognise that there is audience demand for greater representation and portrayal of Scottish audiences on all BBC services and set out our ambition to achieve this in our proposals for the BBC in the year ahead, including improved news, education and online services.”

Picture courtesey of Stuart Beattie