Birt, John

Birt, John
▪ 1994

      In January 1993 the British Broadcasting Corporation acquired a controversial new director general whose task was to secure the BBC's future at a time of rapid technical, cultural, and economic changes in world broadcasting. John Birt had spent most of his career in independent television, trying to wrest viewers from the BBC. Soon after arriving at his new home, he became convinced of the need to discard some of the BBC's enduring habits—something that did not endear him to every member of his new empire.

      Birt was born in Liverpool on Dec. 10, 1944. He joined independent television in 1968, after graduating from the University of Oxford, and became an accomplished producer of current affairs programs. Among his achievements were a series of interviews that journalist David Frost conducted with former U.S. president Richard Nixon in 1977. During the 1970s, Birt developed a rigorous, analytic approach to television journalism that demanded—and rewarded—concentration from audiences. This style became known as "Birtism," sometimes in praise but more often in criticism.

      In 1982 Birt was appointed director of programs of London Weekend Television (LWT), one of the most profitable companies in British independent television, not least because of its knack of producing light entertainment programs with mass appeal. Despite being more familiar with the more austere end of television output, Birt found little difficulty in developing this side of LWT. His mixture of experiences appealed to the governors of the BBC when they needed to appoint a new deputy director general in 1987.

      Birt's arrival in 1987 provoked controversies that never died away. He argued that despite the BBC's formidable international reputation for fine programs, it was overstaffed and badly managed. Between 1987 and 1993 he oversaw a contraction in BBC staff numbers from 28,000 to 20,000 as a result of cost-saving measures and a series of decisions to buy services and some programs from outside companies. Birt's strategy of reform was, however, sidetracked for a while in February 1993 when he admitted that during his period as deputy director general he had not, in fact, been a member of the BBC staff. Rather, he had been working as a self-employed contractor, which provided some tax advantages. Despite much public criticism, Birt received support from the BBC's governors, who rejected calls for his dismissal. He embarked on the task of negotiating with the British government a new charter for the corporation to succeed the current one, which was due to expire in 1996. (PETER KELLNER)

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Birt, Baron Birt — (born 10 December 1944) served as the Director General of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) from 1992 to 2000, having previously been deputy director general from 1987. Early careerBirt was born in Liverpool to a Catholic father who was… …   Wikipedia

  • John Birt, Baron Birt — (* 10. Dezember 1944) ist ein britischer Journalist, ehemaliger Generaldirektor der BBC und Life Peer. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Biografie 1.1 Ausbildung 1.2 Fernsehkarriere …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Coleman (Australian footballer) — John Coleman Personal information Full name …   Wikipedia

  • Birt Acres — (* 23. Juli 1854 in Richmond, Virginia; † 27. Dezember 1918 in London) war ein britischer Fotograf und Filmpionier. Er entwickelte 1895 eine der ersten kommerziell einsetzbaren Filmkameras und veranstaltete am 14. Januar 1896 die erste… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Birt — may refer to:People* Charlie Birt (born 1942), Canadian politician. * John Birt (born 1944), Director General of the British Broadcasting Corporation 1992 ndash;2000. * Henry Norbert Birt, Benedictine historian * William Radcliffe Birt… …   Wikipedia

  • Birt — ist der Familienname von: Theodor Birt (1852–1933), deutscher Altphilologe und Schriftsteller John Birt, Baron Birt (* 1944), britischer Journalist, ehemaliger Generaldirektor der BBC und Life Peer William Radcliffe Birt (1804–1881), englischer… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Grierson — (26 April 1898 ndash; 19 February 1972) is often considered the father of British and Canadian documentary film. Early lifeGrierson was born in Deanston, near Doune, Scotland. His father was the local Protestant preacher, his mother a suffragette …   Wikipedia

  • John Grierson — (* 26. April 1898 in Deanston bei Doune, Schottland; † 19. Februar 1972 in Bath, England) war ein britischer Dokumentarfilmregisseur und produzent. Er gilt als „Vater des britischen und kanadischen Dokumentarfilms“ und ihm wird die Einführung des …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Bede Polding —     John Bede Polding     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► John Bede Polding     Archbishop of Sydney, born at Liverpool, 18 Oct., 1794; died at Sydney, 16 March, 1877. In 1805 he was sent to school at the Benedictine Monastery of St. Gregory at Acton… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • John Birt (footballer) — Infobox afl player | firstname = John lastname = Birt birthdate = 29 January 1937 birthplace = originalteam = Ballarat heightweight = 174 cm / 69 kg dead = deathdate = deathplace = debutdate = 1957 debutteam = Essendon debutopponent =… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”