BBC Executives' First-Quarter Spending Drops Compared With Fourth Quarter

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BBC director general Tony Hall

Compared with the year-ago period, expenses at the U.K. public broadcaster rose only minimally.

LONDON – First-quarter spending by senior BBC executives was largely unchanged compared with the year-ago period and declined compared with the previous quarter.

The latest report from the public broadcaster showed that for the three months ending in March, senior BBC executives spent $225,600 (£168,314), compared with $222,700 (£166,899) during the same period a year earlier. That's an increase of only 0.8 percent.

Expenses were down 18 percent from the fourth quarter, with taxi costs down 29 percent and spending on flights down 28 percent. However, expenses for hotels rose 12 percent, the U.K. public broadcaster said.

External hospitality spending declined 47 percent, but internal hospitality spending rose 10 percent.

Th quarterly spending report compiles expenses for all top BBC managers who earn more than £150,000 ($236,000).

BBC director general Tony Hall has vowed to address financial concerns, such as recent complaints about the broadcaster's severance pay, which has, at times, exceeded contractual guarantees. He also vowed to take a page from the playbook of Silicon Valley after meetings with U.S. technology companies last week to speed up decision-making processes and make the company more creative.

In an editorial for the Daily Telegraph, he wrote: "We need to be so much clearer on how we take decisions and who is accountable for them. We often spend far too long agonizing over decisions that other organizations have learnt to make much more efficiently."

Twitter: @georgszalai