Friday, October 31, 2008

Ross, Brand, Clarkson and Top Gear: A hypothetical question

No doubt about what the big media story is (Jonathan Ross, Russell Brand and Lesley Douglas, should you need reminding) but here's an interesting hypothetical link to the magazine world and the BBC's place within it.

Ross and Brand are not connected with any particular magazine title but what if the shit-storm had enveloped that other "bad boy" Jeremy Clarkson? (I hasten to add here that Clarkson is only introduced here as an exemplar of a media personality who has had bad things written about him: 1, 2, 3 ... ah what the heck.) JC is indelibly associated with Top Gear, and Top Gear has now become a brand that works in a unified manner across the TV show, the website and the print magazine.

But, BBC Worldwide, which publishes TG, is a separate organisation from the public service arm of the BBC and, what is more, it pays a turnover-based fee to the public service BBC for the right to use the TG name on its magazine.

Suppose Clarkson had been suspended from TG on the telly – would he also be suspended from the magazine? Would public BBC have to refund part of the royalty fee?

And, just as a parting thought, offered purely as a personal opinion, isn't the Daily Mail a boiling bucket of hypocritical pus?

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That's a really interesting question...I had never thought of that. Surely the proft making (magazine) side of the BBC would fight tooth and nail to keep Clarkson (or another personality)because they're a separate division.

Not to mention the fact that magazines are produced a number of issues in advance - if he appeared anywhere in the magazine and he was sacked, these spots would have to be filled at very short notice.

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