The knee-jerk of hostility to any mention of John Birt's name overlooks his success in raising audience figures while cutting costs and repositioning his David in a world of media Goliaths.
With most organisations, shock and horror are usually reserved for managerial ineptitude - or worse. With the British Broadcasting Corporation, however, the inverse is true: praise for John Birt's BBC (programmes apart) rings like rank heresy to a host of enemies. Yet the truth is that the BBC is well-managed. The corporation is simply undergoing a necessary transformation similar to BT's - one which, in its context, is just as successful.