Mr A McGregor
09 February 2012
Dear Mr McGregor Freedom of Information request – RFI20120092
Thank you for your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the Act) dated 23rd
January 2012 requesting the following information:-
“Please tell me how much the BBC spends on newspapers each year.”
For the purpose of this FOI request please note:
The BBC’s commercial subsidiaries (BBC Studios & Post Production Ltd, formerly known
as BBC Resources Ltd, UK TV Ltd, BBC World News Ltd, BBC Worldwide Ltd) are not subject
to the Act (see section 6(1)(b)(ii) of the Act) therefore, their spend has not been included in the
figure disclosed below.
Financial year has been defined as the BBC financial year which runs from 1st April to 31st
Please also note that information relating to the purchase of newspapers for programme-making
purposes is excluded from the Act because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or
literature.’ However, as it would be difficult for us to separate out this information from the non-
programme related spend, we are happy to include this in the overall figures. Part VI of Schedule 1
to FOIA provides that information held by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters is
only covered by the Act if it is held for ‘purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature”.
The BBC is not required to supply information held for the purposes of creating the BBC’s output
or information that supports and is closely associated with these creative activities. Response
Due to the size of these operations, newspaper deliveries to the BBC buildings in London and
Manchester are, for the most part, made via BBC managed service arrangements with one
provider in each area. Outside of these two locations, newspapers are delivered to BBC buildings
by local newsagents. We do not hold a central record of any deliveries made by local newsagents
and we would therefore need to contact all BBC offices and departments to establish whether
there were any local arrangements.
I estimate that to locate this information would take more than two and a half days; under section
12 of the Act, we are allowed to refuse to handle the request if it would exceed the appropriate
limit. The appropriate limit has been set by the Regulations (SI 2004/3244) as being £450
(equivalent to two and a half days work, at an hourly rate of £25).
Please find the following the information which we are able to provide within the above specified
limit. This is the total cost for all national newspapers delivered through the BBC’s managed
service providers to the BBC in Manchester and London buildings for the financial year 2010-11.
Grand Total £ 406,063 Appeal Rights
If you are not satisfied with this response you have the right to an internal review by a BBC senior
manager or legal adviser. Please contact us at the address above, explaining what you would like us
to review and including your reference number. If you are not satisfied with the internal review,
you can appeal to the Information Commissioner, whose contact details are: Information
Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF. Telephone:
01625 545 700. Website: http://www.ico.gov.uk.
Tracey Morris Head of Sourcing, BBC Procurement