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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 April 2006, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Q&A: BBC broadcasters' salaries
Terry Wogan
The disclosures suggest Terry Wogan earns 800,000 at Radio 2
The BBC is being criticised by the commercial radio industry following the disclosure of the alleged salaries of some of its most popular broadcasters.

What has emerged so far?

There have been a number of disclosures about the levels of pay for DJs on Radios 1 and 2. Terry Wogan, host of Radio 2's breakfast show, is said to earn 800,000 a year, while it is claimed his counterpart at Radio 1, Chris Moyles, is paid 630,000.

For one programme per week on Radio 2, Jonathan Ross reportedly earns 530,000. Jeremy Paxman is the latest star in the spotlight: he is said to earn 1,040,000 for presenting Newsnight and University Challenge on BBC Two.

Why is the BBC unhappy?

Celebrities' salaries are normally closely-guarded secrets and the BBC has traditionally refused to confirm any contractual details of its stars.

The corporation has expressed concern that the information has made its way into the public domain. It will not confirm whether a member of staff is "leaking" the alleged figures because it has not yet established where the details have come from.

Will there be further revelations?

It is unclear at this stage. Until the source of the information is discovered, the BBC has little control over whether any other details are printed by newspapers.
Jonathan Ross
Jonathan Ross is said to have a 530,000 salary for his radio show

There are many other broadcasters whose salaries would be of interest to the press - Radio 4's presenters, for instance - but nobody knows just how much confidential material has been obtained.

How freely available is such information?

The BBC has frequently declined requests made through the Freedom of Information Act, citing reasons of commercial confidentiality. The salaries of its senior managers appear in its Annual Report - Director-General Mark Thompson was paid 459,000 in the past financial year - but not the packages of on-air talent.

The Act applies only to companies owned by public authorities, such as the BBC and Channel 4, and only certain information can be requested. It does not cover other commercial broadcasters, which are private or limited companies, and so they are under no obligation to reveal their presenters' wages.

What has been the reaction of the BBC's competitors?

The Commercial Radio Companies Association has called for greater financial accountability and openness at the BBC. It says the BBC is able to offer broadcasters generous packages with which commercial stations are unable to compete.

It is also questioning whether such high salaries are an appropriate use of the licence fee, saying that Chris Moyles' alleged salary is the equivalent of the income from nearly 5,000 TV licences.

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