Greg Dyke’s view of broadcasting and the media has always been of interest to me. I have been one of his humble employees twice now, at TVam and Pearson Television. In both these jobs I have held him in high regard. So it was with curiosity that I went to this talk. Although most of my attention has moved from broadcasting to digital media I still take an interest in the effect the web is having on this traditional media.
Dyke is a very engaging and knowledgeable speaker with views from every corner of the broadcasting world. He spoke poignantly about the bad management decisions at ITV, which has led to it becoming a ‘poison chalice’ but believes Archie Norman, the in-coming Chairman, is a good appointment. On this point I’m not sure I agree. He later considers himself too old and set-in-his-ways to take on the challenges that TV channels face today with the use and greater reliance on cross-platform technology, convergence and the increased competition for advertising from the web. Surely these are exactly the problems that Norman, from a traditional business background, will face in the future.
We must not forget Dyke’s legacy too. He put in place a strategy for the development of the iPlayer, while Director General at the BBC, and introduced the world of free-to-air digital broadcasting to the UK through the launch of Freeview. In his talk he gave some great anecdotal stories surrounding these subjects proving he will be remembered for his contribution to some of the most important historical moments in UK media history. But probably not Roland Rat!