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Sunday, 30 January, 2000, 11:24 GMT
Dyke pledges BBC shake-up

Greg Dyke: Pledge to cut layers of management

New BBC director-general Greg Dyke has pledged to cut out layers of bureaucracy from the corporation and spend the maximum on making high-quality programmes.

Critics attacked his predecessor Sir John Birt for spending millions on external consultants, and accused him of strangling the creative process with a top-heavy management style.

I think you can save quite a lot of money here by reducing the need for consultants
Greg Dyke
But Mr Dyke - who took over from Sir John on January 28 - told BBC One's Breakfast with Frost programme his priority was to "spend the maximum amount on making programmes" rather than on "running the BBC".

He said he had "never been a fan" of management consultants.

He said: "It always struck me that the job of the consultant was one, to get into the organisation, and two, to try to stay there for as long as you can and get paid as much as you can.

"I think you can save quite a lot of money here by reducing the need for consultants."

Swathes of unnecessary management would also be cut from the corporation, he said.

He said he personally was probably too far removed "from the action."

"I think you probably don't need as many layers as are here and therefore we will reduce that," he said.

Digital revolution

But Mr Dyke paid tribute to Sir John's vision, saying the former director-general had put the BBC at the "forefront of the digital revolution".

"He has seen the future of the digital revolution and he has positioned the BBC brilliantly for the future, and that, I think is his legacy," he said.

The director-general singled out BBC Online for special mention, recounting a visit to Harvard Business School.

He said the contacts he had made there stressed "the importance of BBC Online and how much they used it".

Shares mistake

Mr Dyke also denied he faced a conflict of interest over his business links, saying that even though he owns a restaurant, a golf club and a property company, they would not interfere with his job.

But he acknowledged his failure to sell his 6m Granada shares earlier could be considered a mistake.

He echoed the views of his predecessor when asked about his commitment to winning back sporting contracts for the BBC.

Sport was important to the corporation, he said, but not at any cost.

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See also:
28 Jan 00 |  UK
Dyke's daunting challenge
29 Jan 00 |  UK
No conflict of interest: BBC boss
30 Jan 00 |  UK
Has Birt saved or savaged the BBC ?
28 Jan 00 |  News
Greg Dyke: an ordinary bloke
16 Jan 00 |  Business
BBC 'knew of Dyke's shares'
20 Jan 00 |  UK
Dyke sells Granada shares

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