It seems not.
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Update: 12.30pm (London time) — We’re not sure how to put this… but lots of people seem to believe that Mr Rastani is a hoax perpetrated by the Yes Man.
Compare the video below with this recent Yes Men hit on the BBC: Read more
British Sky Broadcasting’s earnings are set to double in five years, greatly increasing its contribution to News Corp’s profitability if Rupert Murdoch’s takeover of the satellite broadcaster goes ahead, according to a leading analyst. In research seen by the FT, Toby Syfret of Enders Analysis forecasts that BSkyB’s earnings before interest and tax will rise from £845m in 2010 to £1.7bn in 2015, on the back of revenues rising from £5.7bn to £8.1bn. In the latter figure, BSkyB would exceed the combined revenues of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Early this week, Jeremy Hunt, the culture secretary, is expected to announce a final seven-day consultation on amendments to the bid’s conditions.
Michael Robinson over at the BBC’s World Service has been investigating high global commodity prices in a series entitled Bubble Trouble?
It’s a question that has plagued bloggers since – well, since the industry began its hitherto short life. Some manage to sell much more advertising than others but the Truly Big Moment comes when a big entity walks in and puts a pile of cash on the table.
Such is the case with Sunday’s deal by AOL to buy The Huffington Post, known affectionately or otherwise as “HuffPo” – labelled by the blogosphere, within minutes of the late Sunday night announcement, as one of the most bemusing though lucrative (for the seller) deals in blog industry history. Read more
Why was Hugh Hendry trending on Twitter Thursday night?
Because the outspoken hedge fund manager made something of a splash on Question Time — the BBC’s townhall-style debate show. Hendry’s thoughts on finance and the global economy turned out to be his least controversial statements of the night. Read more
According to the BBC, new EU rules to regulate bank bonuses – announced on Thursday – will hit Mayfair hard: the onerous restrictions on pay, says Robert Peston, the BBC’s business editor, will apply to hedge funds too:
I have learned that the bonuses paid to senior executives at hedge funds and fund managers are to be subject to strict conditions, under new EU-wide rules that have been agreed by EU members states and legislators. Read more
The BBC has been holding discussions with City advisers about floating part of BBC Worldwide, its commercial arm, in response to pressure from the government and commercial rivals to dilute its media market power. Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, told the FT on Tuesday he had “an open mind” about the future ownership of Worldwide, and people familiar with the matter say a partial flotation is one of several possible outcomes. Bankers say Worldwide, which operates in 100 countries, could be valued at up to £2bn.
It’s rather amusing to imagine the thought process that must have gripped the minds of the BBC producers who devised “Can you bank on me?” :
BBC Producer One: You know this credit crunch thing deserves some prime time viewing.
BBC Producer Two: The public are certainly angry about it — particularly at those bankers.
BBC Producer One: Indeed, perhaps we should attempt to bridge the gap between them? Read more
Just in time for the one-year anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers, the BBC announced on Wednesday it was producing a drama “inspired by” the investment bank’s collapse.
“The Last Days of Lehman Brothers” will feature James Cromwell (Six Feet Under, 24, W, LA Confidential) as Hank Paulson and Corey Johnson (Spooks, United 93, The Bourne Ultimatum) as Dick Fuld. Read more
BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the state-funded broadcaster, has held discussions with private equity groups and television content producers to find partners to fund its acquisition ambitions. Private equity executives who had spoken to BBC Worldwide said its leadership felt constrained by a £350m borrowing limit imposed on the business by the Treasury, and had begun looking for alternative sources of funds. The news comes four months after BBC Worldwide spent an estimated £100m on a majority stake in Lonely Planet, the guide book publisher, marking a departure from its origins of exploiting content created by the licence fee around the world. BBC Worldwide declined to comment, but one private equity executive told the FT that the group believed it should be allowed to take on as much as £1bn in debt to finance its expansion plans.
BBC Worldwide has signalled its ambition to compete with the world’s largest media companies with the acquisition of Lonely Planet, one of the world’s best-known publishers of travel guides. The commercial arm of the British broadcaster on Monday announced the acquisition of a controlling stake for an undisclosed price, thought to be in the region of £100m ($204.3m). The deal, which BBC Worldwide described as the largest in its history, will be funded from its £350m borrowing facility. Together with £60m annual cashflows, this has provided scope for more than £400m of acquisitions as it begins a five-year plan to double profits and boost online revenues.
Look. No one else is going to say this, so we’ll say it. The implosion of Northern Rock has unleashed a comical claim-game amongst media types, desperate to bag the title of “Business Scoop of the Year.” But it had gotten downright silly by 22.09 on Tuesday evening with Huw Edwards, presenting the BBC’s flagship Ten O’Clock News, informing eager readers not once BUT THREE TIMES that business editor Robert Peston had broken news of the grave situation – on the flagship Ten O’Clock News, no less, last Thursday.
Huw, clearly fired up by the situation and, Huw knows, maybe a customer of the bank himself, helpfully steered viewers seeking “further information on Northern Wreck” towards more details on the BBC’s excellent state-funded website (a capital gaff in broadcast land, unlike FT Alphaville, which is not under the same stringent Ofcom code. Yet.) Read more