Radio critics are still not warming to the appointment of James Purnell as Head of Radio and Education (and arts, music, learning and children).
Kate Chisholm of The Spectator writes that his appointment "makes no sense":
It’s not just that Purnell was formerly a politician, although that makes the appointment not just odd but alarming, given the BBC’s essential requirement always to be seen as independent of all political influence. It’s much more that Purnell has no editorial experience, no technical know-how, no track record in creating audio programmes.
And Gillian Reynolds of the Daily Telegraph told Feedback that the government has concerns about the former Labour minister too:
Gillian Reynolds: I understand that there is disquiet at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that he is coming within range of editorial output.Roger Bolton: Now when you say 'I understood' you mean you've been told off the record?Gillian Reynolds: I have been told off the record that there is concern. Now, people brush this off and say 'Oh, it's all a long time ago. Don't worry! Don't worry! There'll be all these people between' but until we are clear what his job encompasses and what the new Director of Radio will be responsible for we don't know.