Some things never change …
Reynard Collectables is just listing a number of 1930s programmes and magazines, one of which is “Popular Wireless & Television Times” from December 1935. Aside from some fascinating items on the fairly early days of popular TV, Short Wave radio and “Facts About Soldering” (and a great picture on the cover showing Eddie Hapgood, Arsenal and England footballer tuning in), there is also an article on the use of BBC money (sound familiar?). It was written as a series of articles on the BBC by a Garry Allighan and this one expresses the author’s opinion on “Serious misproportionate spending of BBC Revenue”.
I must state I am a fan of the BBC and of its output, and I am driven mad trying to watch programmes and films with countless ad breaks or just cheap reality TV on so many of the other channels, but some of the facts in this piece make for interesting reading bearing in mind current difficulties within the corporation and its funding. One of the key points is that there is not enough programme development and monies are wasted on non-programming expenses. It mentions that the public were not provided with detailed accounts of BBC spending, just income and expenditure. And over the period 1927-34 out of a pot of £11,191,067 less than half was spent on programmes. BBC revenues at the time were around £2 million and the point was also made that any business of this size should be more accountable to its shareholders (us). He goes on to give lots more details, having worked out several key areas of spend from inside information. He had worked out that the BBC’s spend on artists for the latest period known was £110,000 on 28,000 broadcasting dates in a year, or £4 per session, but £92,875 was spent on Governors’ and administration salaries in the same period! Apparently the Director General Sir John Reith had an annual salary of £6,000.
Read more in the magazine which is one of the fascinating items for sale in Reynard Collectables ebay shop.