B*tch-Gate in 60 Seconds

This handy video of today’s events is going big on the BBC’s social media streams tonight…

Crackpot Chris Williamson Smears Laura K

Nutjob Corbynista frontbencher Chris Williamson plumbs new depths by promoting a mad Skwawkbox conspiracy theory smearing Laura Kuenssberg. The Skwawkbox piece is proper tin foil hat stuff, going through Laura K’s reporting line by line trying to find anti-Labour bias. They even have to ask their readers not to resort to “violence or abuse” at the end of the post. And Williamson is delighting in riling his followers up by promoting this guff. What a shower.

Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

Comments in the comments…

Russia Today Presenter Fibs With First Word on #BBCDP

Well done to Russia Today’s Afshin Rattansi who managed to fib with his first word on the Daily Politics. Asked if they pay politicians to come on, Rattansi said “no”, before admitting that a production company indeed does. About sums up their trustworthiness.

Cliffe Quits ‘The Radicals’ After 12 Hours

12 hours after setting up The Radicals, the Economist’s Jeremy Cliffe has hilariously quit the party:

It is also clear from the — entirely unanticipated — scale of this unplanned experiment that taking this forward would not be compatible with my job as Berlin Bureau Chief for The Economist. But I do not want this remarkable network to go to waste. So having spoken to a number of supporters this morning I am arranging to hand it over to a committee in Britain that might, if it opts to do so, advance the Radicals to a next stage. Details of the committee will follow soon.

The shortest lived political movement in history?

Harding Linked to Pink ‘Un

The Financial Times newsroom has been speculating that outgoing BBC head of news James Harding is on the list of runners and riders for the Pink ‘Un editorship. In his resignation statement last week, Harding mysteriously revealed he was planning to “start a new media company with a distinct approach to the news”. This line is being treated with scepticism in media circles – why would Harding abandon one of the biggest jobs in journalism and one of the largest audiences to start all over from nothing? Sensible FT types suspect the “new media company” could be a front and that Harding has his eyes on another prize…

It is an open secret that 62 year-old Lionel Barber is on the way out. Last week Buzzfeed reported half a dozen senior FT journalists had travelled to Japan as part of a “beauty contest” showcasing potential next editors to their Nikkei owners. Gillian Tett, Robert Shrimsley, James Lamont, Roula Khalaf, Peter Spiegel and Alec Russell are among those in the running. Male candidates are said to have an advantage in a Japanese-owned firm. The most likely outcome at the moment is Barber stays until next year and then recommends an internal candidate to the bosses. Though there has been speculation in the newsroom about Harding, a former FTer who was at the paper for 12 years, throwing his hat in. Industry sources note Harding has yet to register any new venture with Companies House. Is he sniffing around one last real job?

Economist Journalist Sets Up New Pro-EU Party

You know how it is, it’s 10pm, you’re a self-important Economist journalist sitting on Twitter, and you decide to set up a new political party to stop Brexit. Berlin correspondent Jeremy Cliffe, a former intern to Chuka Umunna, says he has the plan to make Britain the world’s largest economy within 18 months: reverse Brexit, join the Euro, join the EU army and make Ken Clarke the next European Commission president. Other key manifesto pledges are to share Trident with Germany, raise inheritance tax and move Britain’s capital from London to Manchester. Don’t laugh, he’s actually serious… 

He says he’s humbled and reckons he has thousands of votes in the bag already:

He’s gone full Chappers. You never go full Chappers.

SpAd Movements: New No.10 and DCMS Hires

A few changes to our SpAd List this morning – Guido hears Karen Bradley’s adviser Aidan Corley has been promoted to Number 10. The Culture Secretary has brought in two new SpAds to fill her team: former IDS aide and Coadec chief Romilly Dennys and the Mail on Sunday’s ‘Girl About Town’ diarist Charlotte Griffiths. Charlotte already has all the goss on the Cabinet, from Theresa May’s meritocracy hypocrisy, to how Boris “humiliated” David Davis and how one top former SpAd dumped his fiance for a fellow Tory aide. Poacher turned gamekeeper at the Ministry of Fun. Lunch?

Who Is On Question Time Tonight

Northern Ireland edition.

Mounting Buzzfeed Losses as Staff Salaries Average £60,000

The bottom line for Buzzfeed in 2016 is that it lost £3,543,554, which when added to the rolled up losses since 2013 means some £12,289,579 has been sunk into the venture so far. When it launched Buzzfeed derided display advertising as outdated and instead offered brands sponsored advertorial content. The search for revenue means you now see traditional display adverts on their homepage. The UK operation is small change for the parent company which is putting hundreds of millions of dollars into video in the hope that they will be able to divert TV advertising revenue into digital video revenue. This is the big bet for the many media ventures following the shining path of Vice News….

Rumours from inside the organisation that management consultants have been sent in are worrisome for the 200 odd Buzzfeed staff on – the filed accounts reveal – generous average packages of some £60,000. On the positive side Buzzfeed doubled their revenue last year to over £20 million. If they can do that again this year they will be extremely profitable…

Give Them What They Want

Last night Guido went to see Ink at the theatre. Not the usual luvvie whine about Rupert Murdoch and The Sun. Guido paid £80 for his ticket and it was well worth it…

Mail Calls on May to Sack Hammond

The Daily Mail, which has remained steadfastly loyal to Theresa May and whose view she values highly, says “treacherous” Hammond must go:

“Dismal, defeatist, relentlessly negative, Philip ‘Eeyore’ Hammond might just as well run up the white flag to Jean-Claude Juncker and the Brussels bureaucracy. At every stage in the Brexit process, the inordinately self-satisfied Chancellor has struck a profoundly pessimistic note over the country’s prospects in the wider world outside the European Union. In defiance of Theresa May, he has called for a three-year transition period after withdrawal, while welcoming the doom-mongering CBI’s calls for an indefinite delay…

It is not as if the man is much of a threat to her. With all the charisma of a gloom-laden undertaker, he has no personal following at Westminster. Nor has he so far proved an effective Chancellor. On the contrary, his Budget was a disaster, with his hastily withdrawn plan to attack the self-employed. Meanwhile, there are capable replacements in the wings…

At the earliest opportunity, she needs a reshuffle to stamp her authority on the party and give new talent the chance to revive the Cabinet. What is absolutely clear is that this lack of grip cannot go on. At this crucial juncture in our history, we need a Government with vision and purpose — not half-hearted, lugubrious appeasers like Mr Hammond.”

Today’s Sun editorial meanwhile calls Hammond “grossly negligent”. May wanted to fire Hammond after the election but the result meant she was too weak to go through with it. The broadcasters and Remain media obsess about Boris’ perceived disloyalty, when there was nothing in his 4,000 word article which contradicted government policy. Hammond on the other hand has consistently argued with Number 10, whether on the customs union, length of the transition, budgeting for no deal or his general gloomy tone. May had to slap him down once again yesterday. Compare and contrast the broadcasters’ coverage of Hammond and Boris to see where their views lie…

“Grunter” Osborne Works Out at Beckham’s £295-a-Month Gym

Over on Instagram George Osborne has been spotted by a fellow fitness fanatic at Barry’s Bootcamp, the VIP gym to the stars which boasts David Beckham and Ellie Goulding among its clientele. Originally established in Hollywood, Barry’s London in Euston claims to offer “the best workout in the world”, and promises:

“Your loved ones will probably see a difference in 5 weeks, and your friends (the observant ones, and the ones who have a crush on you) will probably notice in 2-3 months.”

Apparently “You’ll feel better about yourself, you’ll be more motivated to work out, and seeing the heads whipping around as you stroll by doesn’t exactly hurt your ego”. Disturbingly the Instagram gym bunny who spotted Osborne writes: “I can confirm he’s a grunter”. Membership can cost up to £295-a-month. 5:2 diet not cutting it?

BBC Head of News Runners & Riders

Within minutes of James Harding announcing he is off, senior BBC editors immediately asked themselves: ‘Enough about him, what does this mean for me?’ All the gossip at New Broadcasting House is about their next Head of News. As ever MediaGuido brings you your early runners and riders:

  • Jonathan Munro: The early frontrunner, Munro is currently Head of Newsgathering and effectively Harding’s deputy. Former ITV man. Self-confessed lover of wine and posh food. Could he suffer from being the favourite?
  • Gavin Allen: Controller of Daily News programmes, overseeing Today and the News at Six and Ten. Popular among the troops. Old school hack who gets news.
  • Fran Unsworth: The experienced director of the World Service is seen as a safe pair of hands, she is also Director of News and Current Affairs and sits on the BBC’s Executive Team. Former Head of Newsgathering.
  • Jay Hunt: Until recently she was Chief Creative Officer at Channel 4, where she was favourite to become the new chief executive until she quit. Former controller of BBC One.
  • Peter Baron: Wildcard, edited Newsnight when it was worth watching. Left for Google in 2008.
  • Ian Katz: Current Newsnight editor, friends have let it be known he is considering throwing his hat in the ring.
  • Amol Rajan: A newbie at the Beeb but could another former newspaperman get the job? WATO, the One Show, the Media Show, Radio 2 drive time stand-in – Amol seems to be doing every other BBC job at the moment.

Good luck…

James Harding Quits BBC

BBC Director of News and Current Affairs James Harding has announced to staff he’s leaving to “build a new venture in news”. He’s off in the new year. Ripples in the newsroom as the news breaks…

UPDATE: Harding says:

“There is some journalism that the BBC, for all its brilliance, can’t, and probably shouldn’t, do. And that’s what I want to explore: I am going to start a new media company with a distinct approach to the news and a clear point of view. I know I will enjoy the chance to do some more journalism of my own and, at such a critical time, I’m seriously excited about the prospect of building a new venture in news.”

Peston Labelled “Fake News” By Minister Over Boris Smears

Another ‘interesting’ take from Robert Peston, who writes: “the life-or-death question for May is whether Shapps and Johnson are in cahoots”. He claims Shapps met with Boris’ team a few weeks ago to “discuss matters”. A Tory source says this is “totally fabricated, an obvious smear”. Jake Berry, who is named in Peston’s story, says it is “fake news”. Senior May allies say Boris is not plotting any challenge with Shapps. Who briefed Pesto?

As anyone who has read a newspaper or spoken to a Tory MP recently knows, a more pertinent question would be whether Shapps has “discussed matters” with supporters of David Davis since the election…

Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

Ah, another episode of Remain Time…

£52 To Learn How to Write Columns Like Owen Jones

Got a spare £52 left after conference season? You could always splurge it on a column writing lesson taught by Owen Jones, who is hosting a private masterclass for the few not the many. The ad for the three-hour session to be held at the Guardians offices next month promises:

“Whatever your point of view, award-winning Guardian columnist Owen Jones can help you to turn your knowledge and passion into a persuasive argument.”

Well, Owen has been known to change his tune…

This will include:

“A look at different narrative approaches, from the contrarian to the activist-columnist and the voice-of-reason”

The voice-of-reason indeed…

Saturday Seven Up

This week 189,760 visitors visited 649,370 times viewing 1,020,692 pages. The top stories in order of popularity were:

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Who’s On Question Time Tonight?

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Quote of the Day

Corbynista media cheerleader Aaron Bastani says his friend Clive Lewis’s “b*tch” comment was:

“beneath any parliamentarian”

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Mounting Buzzfeed Losses as Staff Salaries Average £60,000 Mounting Buzzfeed Losses as Staff Salaries Average £60,000
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