Among the top 96 earners at the BBC network, only a third are women and the top seven are all men, according to its annual report. Sports broadcaster Gary Lineker earned more than more than £1.75m, while fellow sports presenter Clare Balding made £150,999 to £199,999, or about a tenth of Lineker’s pay. Lineker blamed his agent for negotiating higher wages.
The BBC reportedly did not want the salaries published (Google waged, and recently won, a similar fight against the U.S. Labor Department). However, the BBC was required to release the data as part of its new 11-year royal charter.
The BBC’s director general, Tony Hall, defended the wage gap by citing the popularity of certain shows led by star presenters. Hall also touted the network’s aggressive diversity hiring goals, while noting that salaries for talent have been reduced this year by 2.5%. Hiring people who earn less will certainly do that.