BBC Savile scoop journalist Liz MacKean says corporation has become 'get rich quick scheme' for 'officer class'

One of the BBC journalists whose Newsnight report revealing sex abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile was spiked yesterday said the corporation has become a "a get-rich scheme" for "an officer class" of top executives.

Liz MacKean worked with Meirion Jones on Jimmy Savile revelations which blocked by BBC bosses in late 2011 only to come out in an  ITV documentary later in 2012.

The corporation spent £25 million on severance payments for 150 high-ranking staff in a three-year period up to December, according to a recent National Audit Office report, and since 2005 has made payments totalling £60 million to 401 senior managers.

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Speaking at the Edinburgh Television Festival, MacKean said: "The whole issue about severance payments gets to the heart of something that has gone badly wrong with the BBC over the last decade and more, which is the creation of an officer class that seems to fly in the face of the principles of public service broadcasting and then we learn some of the appalling details about severance payments, that the corporation has been treated as a get-rich scheme where people at the top reward outgoing people at the top even if they have got new jobs to go to, even if they have been given more than a year's notice about their departure."

BBC director-general Tony Hall  highlighted the scandal of the corporation's Digital Media Initiative (DMI) which he scrapped shortly after taking the top job, branding the £100 million attempt to create a production system linked to the corporation's vast broadcasting archive as a waste of money.

He said: "The thing which worries me most about DMI is the fact you went round the place and people said 'we knew all about that' but no-one said and that is the problem of a culture where fingers are pointed, blame is appointed and people don't feel they can own up and say 'This is going wrong'."

In March this year MacKean took voluntary redundancy from the BBC. Her colleague Jones has moved across to work on Newsnight.



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