BBC announces new bosses in music and arts

Roger Wright showed exquisite timing in his resignation. This looks like yet another added layer of much-loved BBC bureaucracy. 

Two memos:

Dear All,

 

Today, we’re announcing the biggest commitment we’ve made in the arts for a generation.

 

As I said last autumn, I want BBC Arts and BBC Music to sit proudly alongside BBC News – something we’re recognised for the world over.  Now, we’re placing arts and music right at the heart of what we do.

 

That requires strong, clear leadership.  So, I’ve appointed Jonty Claypole as our new Director of Arts and Bob Shennan as Director of Music.  They’ll be driving our vision, and, working closely with commissioning, they’ll be joining up arts and music on the BBC like never before – across television, radio and digital.

 

Bob and I will tell you more about BBC Music in the coming weeks.  But, today I want to focus on the arts.

 

There’s a new strand, BBC ARTS At, taking us out of the studio, and to the most exciting events all across the country.  We’ll have a new home for the arts on iPlayer and online – and we’re announcing an amazing array of new commissions, including three filmed adaptations of Shakespeare’s history plays, from the team behind The Hollow Crown.

 

We’ll be working closely with our country’s great artists, performers and cultural institutions.  And, I’m delighted to announce that Nicholas Hytner has agreed to join us as a non-executive director.

There’s much more besides – and I hope you’ll be able to read the speech I’m making this morning in full.

Best wishes,

Tony

tony hall1

 

 

 

Dear all

As you will have seen, Tony Hall has today unveiled the BBC’s renewed ambition for the Arts. In doing so, he’s announced that Bob Shennan is taking on a new role as the BBC’s Director of Music, starting immediately. Bob will take on the role in addition to his current responsibilities as Controller of Radio 2, 6 Music and the Asian Network, and in place of his position as Controller of Popular Music.

He will still report to me as one of our station Controllers, but will also lead the approach to music across television, radio and digital, thinking locally, nationally and globally.He will become the BBC’s main point of contact internally and externally for the genre, joining up our offer and ensuring a consistent and compelling strategy for music across the BBC.

 

It is great news for our Radio Group that music is at the forefront of the BBC’s thinking and wonderful news for Bob. I’m sure you will join me in congratulating him on his new role.

 

Best wishes

Helen (Boaden)

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      • My Dear Norman,

        We generally look up to an enjoy your quality language but in this case it is you who are misguided. The old rules still have real value.

          • I’m reminded of the editorial colleague who – when, in a programme note on Jerry Goldsmith, I quoted the famous opening line of “Star Trek” – quite properly corrected it to “Boldly to go where no man has gone before”.

            Very much hoping we can now also name and shame all those incompetent composers who;ve written parallel fifths. And (oops!) who use trombones and even harps in symphonic music.. Wholly unacceptable, according to all leading late 18th century authorities. It’s high time this kind of sloppiness was exposed.

      • If the sentence had started ‘What’s more…’, no-one would have batte an eyelid. Nonetheless, were we to value the semi-colon more we’d be less reliant on both the comma and full stop…

    • Yes, Rosalind, you are right. My teachers and mother drilled the same rule into me along with the equally abused, “and also”. Those two words are tantamount to the same thing.

      • You are correct, Norman. The so-called ‘rule’ about not beginning a sentence with ‘And’ or ‘But’ is a scholastic hangover from the 19th century and reflects a Victorian preoccupation with the niceties of Latin prose. Since Cicero would not have started a sentence with ‘Et’, ‘Sed’ or ‘Autem’, schoolmasters considered it improper to start a sentence in the same way in English. But go back to a century or two and you will find the great writers of the day making ample and effective use of that form of emphasis.

        • I certainly wasn’t going to argue with someone who is a professional writer, but it was interesting to do a little research on Google and discover more about the conventions of using “And” to start a sentence. Certainly having gone to a wonderful traditional grammar school (we did Latin for first 2 years and it was founded in Victorian times) Harold’s comment makes a great deal of sense, as it explains my English teacher’s approach and is also interesting to read.

          You learn something every day on Slipped Disc.

          • Good advice on the exceptional use of a coordinating conjunction at the beginning of a sentence—for particular effect—is given here: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/01/can-i-start-a-sentence-with-a-conjunction/.

            However… The speech above is hardly an outstanding example of great oratory, and could surely just as well have been transcribed without full stop, capital letter and comma in the part under discussion.

            It was to enable us to know the rules and when, in certain contexts, they may be broken that we had to learn Latin and Greek. Anything is better than being obliged to follow The Chicago Manual of Style, which was invoked (thankfully in vain) by the typesetter of notes that I once wrote for a CD booklet.

  • Tony Hall is just too old and conventional for the job. His idea of artistic excitement is to import some fairly obvious arts bigwigs into BBC management. Tedious.

    • It is high time that the B.B.C. redressed the balance of transmitting either News OR the dreaded sport and nothing else [on the World Service]. The more art and classical music in particular the better, I say.

  • ===He will still report to me

    Oh, this frightful management speak where you can never get away from the pecking order.

    Sounds like a memo from a suburban shoe factory.

  • Good advice on the exceptional use of a coordinating conjunction at the beginning of a sentence—for particular effect—is given here: http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/01/can-i-start-a-sentence-with-a-conjunction/.

    However… The speech above is hardly an outstanding example of great oratory, and could surely just as well have been transcribed without full stop, capital letter and comma in the part under discussion.

    It was to enable us to know the rules and when, in certain contexts, they may be broken that we had to learn Latin and Greek. Anything is better than being obliged to follow The Chicago Manual of Style, which was invoked (thankfully in vain) by the typesetter of notes that I once wrote for a CD booklet.

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