BBC in turmoil as TV chief quits

BBC in turmoil as TV chief quits


norman lebrecht

October 13, 2015

Danny Cohen, director of BBC television and the brightest spark in its upper echelons, has shocked the Corp by deciding to quit, saying he needed ‘new challenges’. Cohen, 41, was widely expected to succeed Tony Hall as D-G.

A fervent loyalist to the BBC cause, he blotted his record by rallying stars to support the Corp against Government attacks. He will depart next month, leaving the BBC much weakened at the top.


danny cohen

Last week, the BBC’s high-profile economics editor Robert Peston quit to join ITV.




  • Ellingtonia says:

    Another Oxbridge tosser who was fast tracked by the BBC because he was in that coterie of a privileged inner circle at the BBC (think Alan Yentob) and who has no idea of what the the world is like outside the “Hampstead bubble”. For this he was paid £327K a year and tried to act as the “rah rah” girl when the BBC came under closer political scrutiny.
    He is also the loony who got rid of Clarkson and Top Gear, costing the BBC millions in future revenue from foreign sales simply because Clarkson wouldn’t toe the party PC line.
    Yes what Clarkson did was a disciplinary offence but sacking him?……….although Cohen has history with Clarkson and tried to get him sacked over the so called “slope” incident.
    As far as I am concerned, Cohen is one less leech the public will have to pay for.

    • Nick says:

      I agree that with the firing of Clarkson Cohen let the BBC shoot itself not just in the foot but in more painful areas. I expected Tony Hall to have a lot more expertise in dealing with stars and star egos and smoothing out the difficulties they can cause, especially one who made it so many millions. It seems not.

      • SVM says:

        Clarkson physically assaulted a producer whilst on BBC business. Such behaviour is unacceptable in any professional context (admittedly, there may be a *very* limited number of “self-defence”, “health & safety”, or “necessity” exceptions — such as an off-stage performer using the absolute minimum force necessary to get past an obstructive steward who had not been briefed on the presence of said off-stage performer — but none of these applied in the case of Clarkson). Having a “star ego” is no excuse, and the BBC acted properly in terminating Clarkson’s contract.

        In fact, it is one of the few things the BBC has got right in the last few years; for the most part, it seems to have accelerated its already rapid deterioration into a dumbed-down, highly biased propaganda outlet, one which is all the more dangerous and insidious by dint of its illusion of “impartiality”, one which fools all too many otherwise intelligent people (for an intelligent explanation, I recommend


        As for the BBC’s current attempts to rally support for its cause, they are, to speak frankly, embarrassing (on the rare occasion that I still listen to Radio 3, the constant self-advertising is unendurable, especially on programmes which are supposed to be about the *music* — the worst case is “In Tune”, where the presenter seems to be more interested in talking about BBC initiatives than actually letting us hear live music: a recent-ish episode with Benedetti and Grunyuk was the most egregious in that regard, in which the presenter kept going on about that unbearably myopic initiative “Ten Pieces” with Benedetti, whilst Grunyuk just seemed to be sitting awkwardly in the background, probably wondering when he would get to actually play anything).

    • Cantab says:

      An Oxford graduate. Cambridge not guilty on this occasion!

    • John Borstlap says:

      Someone offering a bucket of self-produced mud for inspection by curious noses.