Articles by David Hastings

Point of contention

Published 18 June 2009

Ben Bradshaw tells BBC: to save the licence fee, share it It’s not surprising that the final Digital Britain report has provoked a wide range of reactions, and it was…

Endangered species

Published 15 June 2009

Primeval dropped by ITV BBC set for clash over plans to give part of licence fee to rivals These two media stories may be fundamentally different in their nature but…

Channel 4’s own goal

Published 11 June 2009

Broadcast Now: Five wins final Freeview HD slot Broadcast Now: Freeview HD plans in doubt Whilst bidding for something like a slot on the new Freeview HD multiplex, the very,…

Tesco Value Television

Published 8 June 2009

Broadcast Now: Top 10 tips for producing cheaper TV This Broadcast Now article provides some guidance for producers wanting to cut back on expenditure during the credit crunch, but I…

It’s now or never

Published 3 June 2009

Viewpoint: Canvas will explode UK TV, but BBC must stand back Google creeps into the living room with YouTube XL With today’s announcement of YouTube XL clearly stating Google’s ambitions…

Take the money and run

Published 29 May 2009

BSkyB tables £160m bid for Virgin Media channels, reports say Whilst many broadcasters are still bitterly complaining about an advertising downturn (ITV’s short term Britain’s Got Talent/football windfall notwithstanding), BSkyB…

“A rose by any other name…”

Published 28 May 2009

Granada name to disappear from ITV businesses When Apple Inc.’s Steve Jobs first introduced the Apple TV set top box (which displays media content downloaded from the iTunes Store) during…

Marsupial moratorium

Published 26 May 2009

Broadcast Now: Channels agree five-year ban on revisiting Kangaroo If you want ample evidence as to what degree the Competition Commission hated the whole idea of Project Kangaroo, then look…

Mostly meaningless

Published 21 May 2009

Ed Richards warns against setting ‘meaningless’ radio switchoff date Today’s Radio 3.0 conference in London seems to have basically regurgitated the usual set of proclamations along with a few announcements…

Satellite switchoff

Published 21 May 2009

Radio Today: Bauer withdraws from Sky platform If you want further evidence that commercial radio is still in a spot of bother despite a healthy number of listeners, look no…

Hitting a raw nerve

Published 12 May 2009

BSkyB cries foul over BBC Trust’s Project Canvas consultation When BSkyB gets publicly upset over something it’s usually because there’s a potential risk of its market dominance being curtailed in…

Peter’s principles

Published 11 May 2009

Thinking for inside the box (Peter Bazalgette’s plan to fix TV in a recession) Given the extent of crisis within the television industry (and other media industries as well, although…

One small loss for ITV

Published 6 May 2009

ITV to axe The South Bank Show when Melvyn Bragg retires next year The news that The South Bank Show is going to be axed isn’t surprising at all to…

Wall street crash

Published 4 May 2009

Broadcast Now: C4 not up the viewers’ Street There seems to be an endemic problem with programme commissioning nowadays, and it appears to revolve around the types of programming that…

For local news, switch to BBC One

Published 28 April 2009

Ofcom head Ed Richards sounds death knell for ITV regional news Yes we know that the media industry is going through hell at the moment – and this is particularly…

Choice, but not too much of it

Published 27 April 2009

Government must be bolder on digital radio, says Global chief Stephen Miron You can clearly hear the sound of desperation in Stephen Miron’s voice as he pleads to central government…

Change of heart?

Published 23 April 2009

Michael Grade to step down as ITV chief executive This move comes as a modest surprise given the fact that Michael Grade was scheduled to stay on as chief executive…

Losing the signal

Published 16 April 2009

‘More than 50 local radio stations could close without regulatory shakeup’ There’s no denying that local radio in general is in a spot of bother, to put it mildly, and…

You can’t have it both ways

Published 7 April 2009

Media companies back MPs on BBC Worldwide curbs Well of course other commercial media companies would back calls for BBC Worldwide’s commercial activities to be reined in, since to claim…

Closing the gate

Published 3 April 2009

BBC fined £150,000 over Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross phone prank scandal ‘Sachsgate’ was basically the culmination of what can happen when star talent who have their own production company…

The plot thickens

Published 2 April 2009

Is TV drama too metropolitan and middle class? The Broadcast Interview: Ben Stephenson Recently there has been a fair amount of discussion in relation to the quality (or otherwise) of…

Piling on the pressure

Published 1 April 2009

Channel Five boss claims government sees logic of merger with Channel 4 It seems that Dawn Airey and RTL have spotted a gap in the broadcasting wilderness and are desperately…

Leave right now?

Published 23 March 2009

Chris Moyles reprimanded over ‘gay’ spoof lyrics to Will Young song The BBC has a problem. Indeed it has several problems, but a recurring theme in recent years seems to…

No time for tinkering

Published 19 March 2009

BBC must cut £400m from budget – Mark Thompson Back in December, the BBC’s projected shortfall for the next five years was going to be in the region of £140m….

Still out of place

Published 11 March 2009

ITV chief Michael Grade to challenge ‘perverse’ ban on product placement Product placement has been a ‘hot’ issue for commercial broadcasters for what seems like a long time – this…

The price of failure

Published 9 March 2009

ITV executives write protest letter to Michael Grade Well done Michael Grade for having the temerity to sack the chief architect of ITV’s recent failure to achieve a content-led turnaround…

Reputation isn’t enough

Published 4 March 2009

ITV admits defeat on content-led turnaround I’ll say this now; Michael Grade had exactly the right idea for a turnaround strategy for ITV plc as it stood, but the ‘r-word’…

Too much to swallow

Published 25 February 2009

ITV proposes merger with Channel 4 and Five to create broadcasting giant In a way you can kind of see the business logic in this idea, namely one large commercial…

Will anyone save Channel 4?

Published 25 February 2009

MPs’ report expected to question BBC and Channel 4 linkup Over recent months, around 90% of the media-related ministerial report ‘leaks’ have been ‘surprisingly’ accurate, so we can assume that…

Confidence trick

Published 17 February 2009

Commercial radio could launch new digital stations if regulation is eased So what has the RadioCentre got up its sleeve to save DAB from the jaws of possible obsolescence/apathy caused…

Oh woe is ITV – part 625,405

Published 16 February 2009

Blood-letting at ITV To say that ITV plc has been going through a rough patch recently is something of an understatement, with the media press over the last few days…

One-sided game

Published 6 February 2009

BSkyB wins Premier League TV rights package back from Setanta All things considered, this makes a total mockery of the recent Competition Commission decision to disallow Project Kangaroo on the…

Blindsided

Published 6 February 2009

Jeremy Clarkson apologises for calling Gordon Brown ‘a one-eyed idiot’ I said yesterday that: “Will BBC employees end up being too afraid to say anything remotely controversial just incase the…

One-off comment

Published 5 February 2009

Carol Thatcher race row: thousands complain to BBC BBC defends dropping Carol Thatcher over ‘golliwog’ jibe It seems that the BBC can do nothing right in recent months, with a…

Marsupial murder

Published 4 February 2009

Project Kangaroo: 50 jobs to go as broadcasters rule out appeal Project Kangaroo blocked by Competition Commission So it seems that the ‘olive branch’ created by Project Kangaroo, namely a…

Well she would say that

Published 2 February 2009

Merger of Channels 4 and Five still possible, says Dawn Airey The ever-hopeful and clearly optimistic Dawn Airey is still making noises about a merger between Channel 4 and Five…

Stepwise migration

Published 29 January 2009

digital britain – interim report: Government outlines plans for UK’s digital transition Today saw the publication of (Lord) Stephen Carter’s interim report entitled “Digital Britain”, which in one sense is…

Inflexible

Published 27 January 2009

How the call for aid to Gaza left the BBC in the thick of battle As the controversy surrounding the BBC’s stubborn refusal to air the DEC Gaza appeal rumbles…

Fitting the bill

Published 23 January 2009

The Bill cut to once a week Although the motive for trimming back ITV1’s The Bill to a once a week, post-watershed slot is mainly financial (drama in particular being…

Pause for annoyance

Published 22 January 2009

As mentioned on the Digital Spy forum, this may have happened close to an ad break but is an example of the latest technique that’s now used by certain US…

Dave to the rescue?

Published 22 January 2009

BBC and Channel 4 in talks to buy Virgin Media’s UKTV stake If the BBC and Channel 4 can join forces to purchase Virgin Media’s UKTV stake, then this not…

Public argument

Published 21 January 2009

BBC licence fee ‘digital surplus’ could help fund new PSB body, says Ofcom Ofcom: Report summary plus links to full versions Now that the long-awaited report from Ofcom has finally…

Closing the stable door

Published 16 January 2009

ITV fined £220,000 by Ofcom over regional quotas It has taken Ofcom a year to punish ITV for a regional programming expenditure shortfall in 2007 (likewise a two year delay…

Survival path

Published 12 January 2009

BBC director general backs merger of Channel 4 and Five It won’t be long before Channel 4 finds out its long term fate later this month, but before that happens…

Saving Thatcher’s child

Published 7 January 2009

Let Channel 4 make its own shows, says shadow culture secretary Jeremy Hunt Bearing in mind that the Conservative Party occasionally seems to change certain policies depending on whatever consensus…

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