Six BBC male presenters agreed to pay cuts to express their concern for the existing gender pay gap their female counterparts are dealing with.
Jeremy Vine, host of BBC Radio Show 2 programme, John Humphrys host of Nine O Clock News–flagship BBC show, Huw Edwards, host of News at 10, Jon Sopel, correspondent for BBC’s international news, Nicky Campbell, Scottish radio and television presenter, and Nick Robinson who had been presenting BBC’s today programme, all agreed, either formally or in principle, to reduce their salaries.
To address their grievances, an audit of the BBC News pay scales will be published in the coming week.
BBC China editor, Carrie Gracie recently resigned from office to show her disapproval of the gender pay gap that exists between male and female international editors.
After negotiating her pay scale, Gracie is now returning to the BBC newsroom in London, saying she expects to be “paid equally”.
The BBC report made public the pay of on-air talent earning more than $150, 000 in July 2017. Around two-thirds of male anchors earned even more than this figure.
Chris Evans topped the list, earning between £2.2m and £2.25m in 2016/2017. Whereas, the highest paid female, Claudia Winkleman, earned significantly less – between £450,000 and £500,000.
Sopel and his Middle East counterpart, Jeremy Bowen, both appeared on the list, but female international correspondents such as Gracie and BBC Europe editor Katya Adler did not.
Talking about the willingness of these six presenters to accept pay cuts, the fraction of which is unknown at the moment, media editor Amol Rajan said, “whilst competition in the entertainment industry has intensified, the opposite has happened in news”.
“Many of those now taking pay cuts secured generous deals years ago. That world has disappeared – and these presenters now accept that a chunk of their salaries will have to disappear with it,” he lamented.
Surrounding the coordinated acquisitions, is a recent controversial exchange that took place between Humphrys and Sopel. In an off-air conversation, before an episode of Today, the two reportedly joked about “handing over” pay to keep Gracie in the role.
Humphrys later backed his comments saying that it was a friendly exchange with an “old friend”. However, the BBC took notice of this and a corporation source said that the network was “deeply unimpressed”.
So far there have been three investigations into gender pay at the BBC. In October, a report was published to compare the gender pay gap at BBC with other organisations and it was found that BBC stood at 9.3 per cent, against a national average of 18.1 per cent. An audit carried out with a Judge as the overseer, found that there was, “no question of any systemic gender discrimination”. Lastly, a review into BBC‘s appointment process and assignment of pay scales is due to be published next week.
Director General of BBC, his deputy, Tony Hall pledged to close the gap by 2020, saying the corporation should be “an exemplar of what can be achieved when it comes to pay, fairness, gender and representation”.
This article originally appeared in BBC.
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