+++ Newsnight’s Peter Barron Quits for Google +++

The Press Gazette is reporting that Newsnight’s editor Peter Barron is to leave the BBC at the end of the week to become UK head of public relations for Google. Wonder what it was about the multi-million pound stock options package that made him quit one of the most politically influential jobs in broadcasting?

Not Emily, Not Cathy

Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis has emailed back to say that she hasn’t dined Chez Cameron and she isn’t the source of the Nancy Cameron story. Guido now paging Daisy McAndrew, Kirsty Wark, Martha Kearney….

U.S. Markets Closed for Public Holiday Today

Just Guido being helpful. Wouldn’t want you guys to get it wrong. Again…

UPDATE 20.15 : A co-conspirator points out that BBC Radio 4’s 6 o’clock news has reported the Dow down 29 points – which was Friday’s change. Doh!

Newsnight Reports Valentine’s Day Market Massacre(That Never Happened)

Newsnight just doesn’t do business reporting very well. Guido suspects this is because they are neither interested in, or sympathetic to business. They would much rather review some new feminist state-subsidised play than the FTSE 100’s profitability. The saga of the BBC’s flagship current affairs programme being repeatedly unable even to report the market closing price correctly has been pointed out by Guido before. Peter Barron told us after the last multi-day FTSE fiasco “I despair! We are having a complete revision of the way we collect and check the markets information.”

On Valentines Day Newsnight reported (above) another bad day in the markets, off 80 points or nearly one and half percent down. Time for a stiff whiskey nightcap before examining your stock portfolio in the morning?

No. It was down 0.8 points, some 0.0136%, which is what market experts call “flat”. Stephanie Flanders, Newsnight’s economics editor, said after the last time this happened that it was “unforgivable and embarrassing”. Clearly it was forgivable because it was announced yesterday that she has been promoted and will now be the BBC’s chief economics editor. Jeff Randall is on Sky…

Hat-tip : Musing Markets

Back on Newsnight

Guido will be contributing to the Newsnight discussion tonight on the demise of Peter Hain. Guido doesn’t normally do television, but this is a special occasion…

BBC Invade America, Taxpayers Only Casualties

As Speedbird pointed out in the comments earlier, the BBC has Jonathan Beale, Justin Webb, Kevin Connelly, Matt Frei, Jon Sopel and David Grossman covering the primaries.
All reporting on the same thing, all giving the same (incorrect) analysis. Actually to be fair, David Grossman for Newsnight was different, telling us how he’d accidentally put diesel in the car and even filming his own cameraman and producer. At any minute he seemed to be on the verge of saying “Hello mum, I’m in America, on the telly!”

Does the duplication of efforts produce anything of value? Well it gives us clear evidence that the BBC has no budgetary discipline, massive over-staffing and a lot of West Wing fans in News & Current Affairs.

The BBC is hardly likely to get a scoop unless it can track down Steve Morgan, Peter Hain’s fundraiser who is in hiding, hopefully doing for Hilary what he did for Hain…

UPDATE : Comment makers point out that Simon Mayo is a long way from the Radio 1 Roadshow, he is reporting the primaries for 5 Live. Radio 4’s Jim Naughtie is there as well. Kevin Connolly is padding out 5 Live’s coverage as is somebody called Rhod Sharpe. Jonathan Marcus and James Coomarasamy are covering for the World Service.

Any more Beeboids across the Atlantic?

Enjoy A Night In

Even in Wexford, courtesy of Sky and the wonders of broadband, it is possible for Guido to watch both Newsnight and Question Time simultaneously. Newsnight is going to have some devestating revelations from David Grossman and Question Time should be a laugh.

Guido is on his second bottle, one of the better Margaux – well it has been a good day. Always liked that Grossman chap…

Does Newsnight Know What Day It Is?

Last week Andrew Marr had a go at Sky News for being less accurate than BBC News and Current Affairs. So two days of misreporting from Newsnight gives us a good laugh.

On Thursday, BBC Newsnight reported that the “Dow Jones was substantially down amidst more credit crunch fears”. That inaccurate insight and analysis was based on what? Based on bollocks.

It was made up. There were no credit crunch fears spooking the markets. The market was closed for the Thanksgiving day holiday. The economics editor Stephanie Flanders has ‘fessed up that it was “unforgivable and embarrassing”. Peter Barron contritely said on the Newsnight blog on Friday afternoon that it won’t happen again because they will check the U.S. market is trading. So Emily Maitlis was much more careful with Friday night’s market report:

“…the FTSE 100 share index closed up, sadly we can’t show the exact figures, um, holiday season as you know in the US, so the Dow Jones remains unchanged. Against the Euro, the currencies here, the pound up, against the dollar the pound was down. You’ll just have to take my word for it. We’ll get you some figures by Monday.”

The market was actually open and up 181 points closing at 12,981 (according to Sky News). So did they actually check the market was trading? Doh! Can they get it right tonight or will it be three days in a row?

Hat-tip : Biased BBC

UPDATE : Newsnight editor Peter Barron responds “I despair! We are having a complete revision of the way we collect and check the markets information.” The producer of that piece protests (anonymously) that s/he didn’t make it up. S/he just copied it wrongly from the BBC’s business wire. Guido’s advice : first check what they say on Sky News.

1,700 Jobs to Go at BBC

That is what Guido calls “a good start”. Glen Oglaza over at Boulton & Co gives an example of why:

When Chris Huhne launched his Lib Dem leadership bid, our cameraman took the trouble to count the number of BBC people present.

There were TWELVE of them. Sky and ITN had three each.

You see this all the time, BBC camera teams literally tripping over each other. Each news show has its own resources. Guido has been inside the BBC’s Millbank operation, regional reporters galore reporting on Westminster. Ridiculous. Newsnight’s production office alone is as big as whole of the Sky News operation. This profligacy only happens because they don’t have to care about the bottom line.

Dave on Newsnight

Everyone seems to think Dave did well on Newsnight last night, in the sense that he was calm and didn’t get rattled. However, Michael Crick is in all honesty no Paxman, the four presenters combined are actually easier to face than Newsnight’s Grande Dame.

To be fair Dave faced a slippery nipple obssessed Paxman in 2005. It takes a bit of political courage to face Paxman. When did Gordon ever face Paxman?

Number Twos on Newsnight

In what frankly, even by political anorak standards, is a boring campaign so far, tonight offers the prospect of some interest as they go face-to-face tonight on Newsnight.

Benn is now favourite, followed by Johnson. Punters make the rest also rans. Guido has a little money on Harman with an outside chance…

A Newsnight Producer writes…

Dear Guido,

I am writing to you to check your availability the weekend of August 24-26th.

It would be fantastic if you might be available at some point that weekend (most likely the Sunday) to take part in this year’s MediaGuardian Edinburgh International TV Festival. We were hoping you will be free in principle for a high-profile session we intend to put on titled “The Power of Gossip.” This session which will involve panellists including the author of the websites/mailouts “holymoly” and Adam Bullmore of October Films – will entail discussing the power of blogs and the internet and will question whether TV will ever be able to produce gossip as successfully.

It would not be a problem to arrange your participation behind a screen of sorts if you wish to protect your identity.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

With best wishes

Lucy

Lucy Crystal | Interview Producer | BBC Newsnight

Guido is not falling for that one again…

Recess Monkey on Newsnight

Looks like they really are having difficulty getting anyone on Newsnight these days…

See Recess Monkey’s Newsnight Interview on Guynews.

Guido Regrets…

Well the live interview was definitely a mistake and against my better judgement, as was the in-the-shadows idea of the Newsnight editor, but nice to have Sir Michael White go to full-frontal-abuse.
His denial of knowing his friend Prescott was even 68 is contradicted here

Interviewing Prezza for the Guardian on the 10.05 out of King’s Cross yesterday I was startled, not for the first time, by his resillient energy. It was his 68th birthday, which makes him eight years older than me and a good deal more energetic. Why hasn’t he got any white hair, I found myself wondering? What’s his secret? Pauline’s cooking? Grecian 2000? Tracey? Croquet? A zeal for the public good?

Incidentally – want to clarify something immediately re Nick Robinson – that last line about Nick being the source, did not mean he was the source for the original much contested Guido “email” second system story. Nick has never been a source. We had a discussion re the Ruth Turner document after doing his interview. That was what the reference was to, pretty sure that came over all wrong, and genuinely apologise for any embarrassment caused to Nick. Good night.

Nick Robinson Regrets…

Nick Robinson regrets speaking to Guido, well that may be, he probably won’t give Guido an interview again. Bovvered.


Maybe he thinks Guido should “pull his punches”?

Should Guido Audition to Replace Crick?

Guido occasionally gets calls from producers asking him to go on TV and turns them down. Newsnight have tried a few times without success. But they finally made Guido an offer he couldn’t refuse, his own production team, a free hand with the script and five minutes of prime time to do whatever he wanted. So despite never wanting to get his face on TV, Guido decided to take on our political broadcasters; Nick Robinson, Adam Boulton and Paxman. Crick’s old job is up for grabs after all…
The piece is online here. Now the editors have moved the goalposts and want a studio discussion as well. Sir Michael White will be defending the cosy lobby system, Paxman will be back to asking rather answering the questions. What do you think? Stay in the shadows or do battle with Sir Michael? Vote using the box in the middle column.

Crick Replaces Martha

Left-wing broadcaster Michael Crick is taking over as political editor on Newsnight. Which means the nation’s prime current affairs show will be short a campaigning investigative reporter. Hmmm…

Crick is on the Venture Capitalist’s Case Tonight

Tonight he is taking a look at Ronnie Cohen’s generosity. Crick is brilliant isn’t he, where does he get his story ideas?

Incidentally, talk is that Newsnight are going to try out a hot, hungry, new investigative reporter soon…

Newsnight Replies Re Running Order Ruckus Over Ruth

There was consternation in many places over last week’s reporting by the BBC of Ruth Turner’s arrest. Many thought that Newsnight in particular messed up the priorities with a Michael Crick story on a Tory using the word “cripple” in an email as the lead item. Guido agreed and on Saturday emailed Newsnight’s editor Peter Barron:

Peter,

Could you give me an on the record quote concerning the relative priority given to these stories on Friday.

The lead story focused on an embarrassing email sent between two non-entity local Tory councillors. In other news, after nine minutes on this story, the next story was that PM’s aide was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in the loans for lordships investigation. This story was given three minutes.

Why were the stories prioritised in that order?

Do you think the un-pc email story was more important?

The reply came back this morning:

Guido,

On Newsnight we don’t necessarily stick to linear running orders which reflect the relative significance of stories in the same way that news bulletins tend to. The loans for peerages story was of course more significant, but there were other factors at play. We had committed Michael Crick to following David Cameron’s efforts to relaunch his campaign in the North. While covering that he came across the “cripple” email story, which was an exclusive and highly pertinent to the Conservatives’ attempts to portray themselves as a compassionate party of government. It followed and mirrored the biggest controversy and talking point of the week which concerned the use of un-PC language in Big Brother. The loans story had been reported in some detail on the 10 O’clock News and on Newsnight we considered that our version could not be substantially different given the information we had at that point. We therefore decided to lead off on our own original story and to run the loans story prominently in second place. You could actually argue that in terms of global significance it was our third story – about China and star wars – which was the most important of the three.
Guido gets the impression that they were committed to the Crick story, when Ruth got arrested they didn’t want to bin the Crick footage. A misjudgement. A nothing story, about a nobody versus the arrest of the PM’s aide? This could lead to a crisis of Watergate proportions and surely deserves serious treatment by the nation’s prime serious news show. What were they thinking?

UPDATE : Peter Barron blogs “I don’t rule out the possibility that it was simply a misjudgement.” Quite.


Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn:

“I’m not a defender or supporter of ISIS.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

Updates: Who’s Standing? Who’s Standing Down? Updates: Who’s Standing? Who’s Standing Down?
Banks Bottles It Banks Bottles It
Corbynista Unfurls “Farron Hates Gays” Placard Corbynista Unfurls “Farron Hates Gays” Placard
Esther McVey for Tatton Esther McVey for Tatton
Zac Back? Zac Back?
UKIP’s Islamo-Banifesto UKIP’s Islamo-Banifesto
Karen Danczuk Seeks Selection in Bury Karen Danczuk Seeks Selection in Bury
Corbyn and Sturgeon At Same Event Corbyn and Sturgeon At Same Event
Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
Tories Mistakenly Share Private Conference Call PIN with Opposition Tories Mistakenly Share Private Conference Call PIN with Opposition
Len and Seamus’s Champaign Celebration Len and Seamus’s Champaign Celebration
Campaign Report: 48 Days To Go Campaign Report: 48 Days To Go
Campaign Report: 49 Days to Go Campaign Report: 49 Days to Go
Listen: Dawn Butler Car Crash Interview Listen: Dawn Butler Car Crash Interview
Manifesto Lookahead: Six Tory Policies in Peril Manifesto Lookahead: Six Tory Policies in Peril
McVey for Upminster? McVey for Upminster?
Watch: Corbyn Crowd Boos and Shouts Down ITV Question Watch: Corbyn Crowd Boos and Shouts Down ITV Question
Coalition of the Others Still Behind Tories Coalition of the Others Still Behind Tories
NEC Swerves Corbyn Loyalty Pledge NEC Swerves Corbyn Loyalty Pledge
Watch: Barry Gardiner Loses It on Sky News Watch: Barry Gardiner Loses It on Sky News