Revealing the salaries of its highest-paid stars would not be in the interest of licence fee payers, according to BBC content and sport director Charlotte Moore.
The statement follows the release of the government’s white paper in May, which demanded that all stars earning more than £450,000, thought to include the likes of Gary Lineker, Chris Evans and Graham Norton, be made public.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Moore stated that such revelations would force up the BBC’s wage bill.
“We know our audience expect us to have the best talent. We also know we can’t pay as much as other broadcasters, and of course we don’t pay as much as other broadcasters,” Moore said.
“I genuinely think that it’s not in the interests of licence fee payers that we do that. I think it will only drive talent fees up.”
The BBC previously stated that it had “led the way in transparency” by publishing details of senior manager salaries over £143,000, but this has only led to further pressure from the commons culture, media and sport select committee, who last month stated that the threshold should be the same for all BBC employees, and that “total remuneration in excess of the Prime Minister’s should be published”.
Moore continued, “We are already very transparent about a lot of the BBC. I think talent fees are a really difficult one. The outcome of it may well be that talent fees will go up, I think if everyone knows what everyone is paid they will say ‘I want to be be paid that as well’.” recommended last month that the threshold should be set lower, at £138,000.