Moonlighting BBC stars will have to declare earnings under clampdown

Tim Davie is to unveil clampdown on moonlighting BBC stars including forcing them to publicly register their earnings online and reveal tougher measures on on social media use

  • Tim Davie plans clearance process for BBC news readers who take on other jobs 
  • Report on jobs and pay taken by correspondents could be published quarterly 
  • Tougher rules on reporters’ social media will be policed by ‘Twitter spy in chief’

Moonlighting BBC stars will have to publicly register their additional earnings under a clampdown by director-general Tim Davie as he reveals tougher measures on their use of social media.

Since taking over last month, Mr Davie has declared he plans to crackdown on a perceived lack of impartiality at the broadcaster, and reportedly has the services of a so-called ‘Twitter spy in chief,’ to ensure social media posts follow new guidelines.

One BBC presenter said the corporation was planning to publish a quarterly record of the outside speaking events taken on by news readers and correspondents.

The record would share details of the job and the pay received, in a bid to shame colleagues into rejecting lucrative deals, according to The Times. 

One reporter told the paper the BBC was ‘like the Wild West until now, with managers afraid to stand up to “talent” and tell them “no”‘.

Tim Davie is set to create a report that details any external job picked up by BBC presenters, along with the pay they receive, in a bid to shame them out of lucrative deals 

Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty and newsreader Huw Edwards, are among the most high-profile names to take flak from BBC bosses over their extra jobs.

Last month it came to light Munchetty, who earns up to £195,000 a year at the BBC, hosted webinars for NatWest weeks after she was rebuked for fronting a paid corporate video for Aston Martin.

The BBC told MailOnline Munchetty, who is believed to charge up to £10,000 per event, was warned the gig ‘could be seen as a conflict of interest and will be kept in mind for future editorial decisions.’ 

Naga Munchetty faced the ire of BBC bosses last month after it was revealed she had hosted webinars for NatWest and fronted a video for Aston Martin

The 45-year-old is the latest in a slew of stars at the corporation including Huw Edwards, Greg James, Mishal Hussain and Jon Sopel, who have topped up their hefty salaries with payouts from oil companies, banks and car giants.

Edwards, 59, is thought to have earned around £400,000 from speaking at various events over the past five years. 

According to The Times, he charges up to £25,000 for events but does not pick up work that could pose a conflict of interest. 

Huw Edwards is said to have made £400,000 from speaking events over the past five years, charging up to £25,000 at a time

Sopel, 61, who takes home a £235,000 salary, was criticised last year for giving a speech to staff at tobacca giant Philip Morris in Miami.

Mr Davie is said to be enforcing new rules to prevent any further allegations of bias at the BBC.

He reportedly would be willing to sack presenters who breach new guidelines, which are being enforced by Richard Sambrook, the broadcaster’s former director of global news.

Gary Lineker was singled out for his ‘flavoursome turn of phrase,’ by Mr Davie, as he warned new social media guidelines for BBC presenter were ‘imminent’

A review is being carried out by Sambrook, dubbed ‘Twitter spy in chief,’ by colleagues, on how staff can stay impartial online.

Mr Davie has previously warned some presenters could have their accounts suspended if they don’t follow the new rules – singling out Gary Lineker’s ‘flavoursome turn of phrase,’ last month. 

The new measures will no doubt have an impact on the Match of the Day presenter’s often politically-charged Twitter feed, but he appeared to laugh off the threat, saying: ‘I think only Twitter can take people off Twitter.’

BBC North America editor Jon Sopel, 61, was criticised for giving a speech to a tobacco giant in Miami last year. He takes home a £235,000 salary 

Speaking to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committe on September 1, Mr Davie said: ‘We are going to be publishing in the next few weeks, and this is imminent, clear social media guidelines, and they will cover both news and current affairs, and beyond news and current affairs.

‘We will have, within those guidelines, the enforcement policies will be very clear. We will be able to take disciplinary action. We will be able to take people off Twitter. I know people want to see hard action on this.’

He added: ‘If they want to work for the BBC, I can ask people, you would suspend their Twitter account, absolutely.’ 

The BBC told The Times it would publish impartiality plans ‘in due course’.

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