Anorak News | 2008 Media Year: Russell Brand, Robert Peston, Strictly Come Dancing And Jonathan Ross’ Dogger Bank

2008 Media Year: Russell Brand, Robert Peston, Strictly Come Dancing And Jonathan Ross’ Dogger Bank

by | 29th, December 2008

IT’S been a great year for media stories about the media, starring Russell Brand, Jonathan Ross, Robert Peston, the BBC, Strictly Come Dancing and fines. The media loves media stories about the media, and so do audiences.

In 2009, the BBC will strive to bring you even more stories about the media, such as how BBC Breakfast presenters Bill Strictly and Sian In Need are never far away from a pair of spoons, and how BBC5 is to be the Beeb’s new TV channel for stories just about the media.

But what about 2008? Phew! It was quite some year.

In “Phones and fines top media’s 2008” the Beeb lists those stories that really mattered, and how the media made itself news:

* 2008 saw the high-profile resignations of Strictly Come Dancing favourite John Sergeant, Radio 2 controller Lesley Douglas, presenter Russell Brand and the suspension without pay of Jonathan Ross.

Oh, yes, the Lesley Douglas caper. Who can forget such creativity at the BBC, where all the above performed? Ross is to return to the Beeb, of course, reading the Shipping Forecast. Says he:

It’s a wicked gig. Loads of action around Dogger and the Naughty Forties and blow me dahn, Shannon. Tomorrow I’ve got Ricky Gervais in to talk about the time he went out on pedalo in Marbella, and how my wife Jane loves a bath with Matey – whatever floats yer boat, I say…

And what about the Beeb’s news on the financial crisis?

* By contrast, 2008 saw BBC business editor Robert Peston elevated to guru status, after a string of scoops about the banking crisis and its knock-on effects.

How about that – another BBC employee making waves on the BBC-dominated media? And good old Peston, the man voice of doom brought to you by City PR Industries Corp.

So the credit crunch has been good news for the business media, if not the business of media:

* The year saw hundreds of journalists and other media workers lose their jobs at ITV, Virgin Media, the BBC, Channel 4 and a host of newspaper groups, including Trinity Mirror, the Telegraph, Associated Newspapers and Newsquest.

Want to work for Anorak? We’re hiring…

* Express Newspapers had to pay the Find Madeleine McCann campaign £550,000 after libelling her parents, Kate and Gerry. Seven of their friends received a further £375,000, which was also paid into the fund. And Robert Murat, wrongly accused of complicity in Madeleine’s disappearance, received £600,000 from 11 newspapers and a further payment from Sky News.

Sky News. Tsk! Stick with the BBC News, which is – it says her – unbiased and gives equal truck to “glorious Labour, Messianic Obama, peace loving Palestinians and fearless global warming campaigners” as it does to “useless Tories, murderous Israelis, Mother Nature killers and cricket”.

* But these financial penalties seemed mild compared with the collapse of the ITV share price (exacerbated by a Competition Commission order that BSkyB must reduce its 17% stake) and its economic prospects.
With advertising set to go from bad to worse, ITV also had to cope with the loss of its analogue “subsidy” to provide public-service broadcasting (PSB) – a problem also afflicting Channel 4.

Trebles all round at the Beeb, which can trot out press releases as news, pay fortunes for average talent, give Lily Allen a chat show and still make loads money.

It’s truly amazing how more media organisations don’t just follow its model of seducing audiences with the line: pay up or else – we know where you live…

Posted: 29th, December 2008 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink