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30/07/2013

A Year Of 'Highs And Lows'

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BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten has described 2012/13 at the BBC as a year of "incredble highs" and "desperate lows", following the publication of its annual report.
Launching the BBC's Annual Report and Accounts for 2012/13 with Director-General Tony Hall, Lord Patten said the BBC's Olympics coverage had been a success that had "surpassed all expectations".
2,500 hours of coverage reached 90% of whole of the UK population, according to the report. 52 million viewers watched the BBC’s 24 streams of Olympics coverage, with 32 million accessing online coverage.
But Lord Patten also described as "significant" the many failings at the Beeb over the past year.
In particular, the broadcaster is still very much reeling from the Jimmy Savile revelations and the related Newsnight crises.
The year saw the departure of George Entwistle as Director-General, who resigned following the Newsnight scandal.
However, the Annual Report shows that the BBC continues to perform well.
96% of the UK population accesses BBC programming every week and audiences consume an average of 19 hours, Monday to Sunday.
The BBC delivered £580m in "efficiency savings", contributing to the £2bn cumulative savings delivered over 2008/09 to 2012/13.
Digital radio continued to grow, with a third of all hours spent listening to live radio being via a digital platform.
BBC News was once again the most popular news broadcaster, with 82% of UK adults watching, listening or reading the BBC’s coverage of world events.
Lord Patten said: "This has truly been a year like no other, with some incredible highs and some desperate lows. In both, there are lessons that we must learn.
"The Olympics was a high watermark, both in terms of content and in signposting the way to a digital future. It was evidence that at its best, the BBC remains the world's greatest broadcaster, providing coverage of a scale, quality and ambition to the whole nation in a way that I believe no other broadcaster could.
"But it was also one of the most turbulent years in the BBC's history. While the priority is clearly the impact on his victims, the Jimmy Savile affair and all that came after it revealed some serious weaknesses in the BBC's culture and behaviours. I welcome the Director-General's update on how he is addressing these issues, which we also publish today.
BBC Director-General Tony Hall said: "I am extremely proud of the BBC that I have seen and experienced over the last four months. This is a creative organisation that produces brilliant programmes. And whilst this Annual Report covers a period of time that predates my arrival, for me it highlights the great successes that we are capable of achieving whilst also reminding me that there is much we can and must to learn from some terrible events of the past."
Photo - BBC © 2013
www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust
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