The Media in the Press 7.1.10

Events may have overtaken its report, but congratulations must go to the Scottish Daily Mail for at least getting a sense that broadcaster, Jonathan Ross's days at the BBC appeared to be numbered, with Graham Norton a possible alternative candidate for his TV chat show and Mark Kermode likewise for his film review programme, Film 2010.

Just a few minutes ago, it was announced that he's leaving, seemingly of his own accord. And says a statement published by the Mail – on its website, as at 11.43am – Ross says it's not to do with money. 

But it's money that is behind concerns that morning television show, GMTV, could be preparing to axe a couple of its presenters. The Daily Record (page 11) suggests GMTV bosses may be looking to slash as much as 20 per cent of the budget, with presenters Andrew Castle, John Stapleton, Kate Garraway, Ben Shephard and Penny Smith said to be anxious “beyond belief”. 

Bouncing back to the BBC, the Mail is saying it is under review – from the licence fee payers body, the BBC Trust – following complaints it has become a 'cheerleader' for claims that climate change is man-made. The Corporation's science output is said to be also under investigation for its reporting of GM foods, the MMR vaccine, Alternative Medicine and wi-fi.

Closer to home, there's not to be a second series of the BBC Scotland comedy, Happy Hollidays – by the independent Scottish TV production company run by comedian, Ford Kiernan. Its six-week run during the summer failed to impress critics, says the Scottish Daily Express. The same paper, elsewhere, reports the return to newsreading of Moira Stuart, who, two years ago, departed the BBC amid claims the Corporation was reluctant to use older women news presenters. She is to present the news on the Chris Evans' radio show on BBC Radio 2.

And in the Scottish Sun (page 25), columnist, John Smeaton, has a dig at Scottish Labour leader, Iain Gray. Smeaton was the subject of a BBC documentary during his unsuccessful bid to be elected MP, during the recent Glasgow North East by-election. Gray is said to have remarked that meant the programme cost £5000 per vote to make. Smeaton polled 258 votes. No way did the programme cost £1.29 million, Smeaton retorts, adding he's “skint this month”.

And finally, The Herald (page 29) reports an improving share price for newspaper distribution company, John Menzies. The Herald's Simon Bain reports: “[Menzies] said that…'magazine sales, while still in decline, have been better than anticipated together with sttong sales of stickers'. Last year saw the business pick up a £180 million contract windfall from the demise of smaller rival, Dawson, with the benefits likely to flow this year.”