As the full magnitude of the Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal continues to be revealed, a veteran British TV figure has called for the radical break-up of the BBC.
David Elstein, the former CEO fo Britain's Channel 5 and former BSkyB head of programming, says that the two internal BBC probes and upcoming report on the ordeal aren't enough. He said that a "far more ambitious agenda" is necessary ad that the "basic structure and governance of the corporation," was to blame for the scandal.
"The arthritic response of the BBC to the Savile affair has exposed an unnecessarily complex management structure, a confused and confusing governance system, and an urgent need to break up the monolithic news and current affairs department," Elstein said. "Politicians need to understand that those [internal BBC] inquiries - however worthwhile in themselves - are only a step in an irresistible direction."
He believes that the top executive position at the BBC should be split into two and that the BBC Trust should be ditched. The BBC Trust is the BBC's governing body. Additionally, he calls for BBC radio and TV to be split and that BBC News Channel should be split off as well.
"Another radical step would be to divest BBC Production from BBC Broadcast," which would separate the content production from the broadcasting operations, Elstein said. "It has never been clear why the nation's largest creative force should be restricted to supplying just one of the U.K.'s broadcasters."
Finally, he thinks the BBC needs to be supervised and regulated by U.K. media regulated Ofcom.
Elstein currently is the chairman of the Broadcasting Policy Group, which has previously suggested BBC reforms. No conflict of interest there, right?