Ashley Highfield, the BBC’s director of new media and technology, earned a base salary of £281,000 this year according to the Corporation’s own website – an inflation-busting increase of 14.7% on last year. He picked up an additional £30,000 in annual bonus, expenses and benefits: although, when you lump it all together, it’s actually down on last year’s total figure of £320,000.
This, you’ll be pleased to hear, is all part of the BBC’s continuing efforts ‘to bring (executive) pay into line with the external market’, having identified in 2004 that ‘BBC executive base pay had fallen significantly below market median levels.’ And in case you’ve forgotten it from maths at school: the median is the midpoint in a series of numbers, whereby half the data values are above it, and half below it. So apparently, half the people in comparable jobs are being paid more. Er, really?
All thanks to the unique way the BBC is funded. And yes, my TV licence is due this month. Purely coincidental.