The day Greg Dyke was pushed out of the BBC was a grave one for both the corporation and broadcasting in general, yet Mark 'the scissors' Thompson was reportedly seen that day skipping around the Channel 4 office where he had been Chief Executive for barely a probation period, gleeful in the news that the top job of broadcasting could finally be his.
And now, the Big Picture thinking of the man has arrived, to match his Big Picture thinking at C4 where the most memorable policy was making the entire building open plan, removing all the executives' and commissioners' offices (with no consultation, and widespread hostility). Mark's Big Idea for the BBC, with which it will rise to the challenge, responsibility and promise of a newly extended charter? Fewer programmes and widespread staff cuts. These cuts will drive Fewer, Bigger, Better - not a Daft Punk song, but his new policy, founded on the prehistoric belief that bigger is better, an idea that has long undone this country from the empire and Millennium Dome to Brian May's hair.
If he's really clever, he may just pull off that which Alastair Campbell, Margaret Thatcher and countless more have failed to do. Kill of the Beeb. Because the corporation has the potential - with billions in annual budget and a non-commercial, non-profit remit - in the age of web broadcasting, to be the number one media company in the world. And instead, 2,500 staff are being cut, programming is slashed, the news team has to make 25% cuts in budget, DRM is being embraced with the sweaty foolishness of a chubby music company in 2001, the plans to put the full BBC archive online has all but vanished and a non-Microsoft (ie Linux/Mac/iPod) fully specced version of iPlayer may never appear.
(nb: it's not all bad, BBC Film Network, a great part of the BBC's web offering, has just launched a pretty big filmmaking guide. It'd be great if they could collaborate with the also excellent Movie Making Manual wikibook.)