The British Broadcasting Corp. is reeling just as one of the world’s oldest and most-venerable public broadcasters faces a particularly sensitive fight over its future funding after its chairman resigned.
Michael Grade, who was brought in to help overhaul the BBC in 2004 after a scandal over its reporting on the war in Iraq, is leaving to become executive chairman of ITV PLC, the BBC’s chief commercial rival, early next year. His last day at the BBC was Monday.
While staff at ITV’s headquarters in London cheered Mr. Grade when he visited yesterday, the mood at the BBC was more somber. The BBC is negotiating with the British government over how much taxpayer money it will receive for the next 10 years. Government officials have publicly indicated they won’t give the BBC as much funding as it seeks, potentially forcing it to cut staff and programs.