The Newsroom

BBC to move more roles outwith London

Guardian report; all-staff meeting on Thursday morning

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CF
CallumF
The Guardian reporting tonight that the BBC is set to make an announcement to staff tomorrow morning about more positions being moved to elsewhere in the UK:

www.theguardian.com/media/2021/mar/17/bbc-to-move-many-top-news-jobs-to-leeds-sources-say
Quote:
BBC to move top news jobs to Leeds, sources say
Plan part of push by new director general to move large number of senior roles outside London

The BBC is preparing to relocate many high-profile national journalism roles from London to Leeds, sources at the broadcaster have told the Guardian, as part of a major push by new director general Tim Davie to move jobs outside the capital.

It is thought that Davie will unveil more of his plans in an all-staff meeting on Thursday morning, which is expected to see a large number of people currently based in the capital moved to offices in other parts of the UK.

The BBC declined to comment on the claims but a source at the broadcaster said “we’re committed to serving better those who pay for us”. There is speculation within the organisation that large parts of the corporation’s news output and some of its best-known radio programmes could be moved.

Davie has repeatedly made clear he wants more senior managers based outside London on a full-time basis, a position that aligns with the government’s insistence that it is committed to “levelling-up” the north of England and other parts of the UK.

If the BBC moves journalism jobs to Leeds it would help boost the media scene in West Yorkshire, with Channel 4 committed to a secondary base in Leeds city centre. Any BBC moves are likely to take place from 2022 onwards, with education reporters and staff covering underserved communities as part of the “original journalism unit” among those likely to make the move.

Although BBC staff would probably be offered relocation packages if their jobs move to Leeds, the experience of Channel 4 suggests many are unlikely to leave London, potentially creating job openings in Yorkshire. There is also political pressure to move more roles to Scotland.

Davie will address staff six months after he took the top job at the public broadcaster, facing the twin challenges of a hostile government and a rapid change in media consumption habits. Since taking the position he has introduced a new social media code of conduct designed to reduce news stories about the personal views of the broadcaster’s employees, targeted left-wing comedy shows that have angered the government and started a purge of high-earning managers.

Although Davie’s public commitment to representing the whole of Britain has helped him head off the imminent threat of decriminalisation of nonpayment of the licence fee by the Conservative government, his leadership has also had to deal with growing discontent from some BAME staff.
MI
m_in_m
Will be interesting to see what volume of UK focused "portfolio" correspondents end up outside London. I've noticed a slowly increasingly volume based in Salford. Not huge numbers but there seems to be a Science, Consumer Affairs and Education correspondent based there.

Programmes moving will be interesting as well. I can't recall if one, possibly You and Yours, moved from London to split across London and Salford back to solely London. I suspect Woman's Hour is unlikely to move unless it continues to be broadcast from a London radio workshop.

Weather feels like an area where future vacancies could be advertised with the ability to broadcast from outside London.
Last edited by m_in_m on 17 March 2021 9:11pm
CF
CallumF
Is anyone aware of a list/information somewhere online about the various BBC units/departments and where they are based?

Reason I ask is I’ve seen several tweets relating to this story and complaining about Birmingham/the Midlands in general.
MI
m_in_m
Is anyone aware of a list/information somewhere online about the various BBC units/departments and where they are based?

Reason I ask is I’ve seen several tweets relating to this story and complaining about Birmingham/the Midlands in general.

Birmingham has The Archers and some daytime drama e.g. Doctors, Father Brown (assuming they commission further series) and WPC 56 - though I think that may have ended after series 3. I think Countryfile moved from Birmingham to Bristol.
PE
peterrocket Founding member
You've also got some bizarre set-ups going on though moving things out of London - Sunday Morning Live is one.

Has BBC Northern Ireland's name on it, but is pretty much all London based after it moved there a few years ago after being based in Belfast.
JO
Jonwo

Birmingham has The Archers and some daytime drama e.g. Doctors, Father Brown (assuming they commission further series) and WPC 56 - though I think that may have ended after series 3. I think Countryfile moved from Birmingham to Bristol.

Shakespeare and Hathaway is also filmed in the Midlands.
NG
noggin Founding member
I think Countryfile moved from Birmingham to Bristol.


Yes - all the non-drama stuff for network TV that used to come out of Pebble Mill then The Mailbox - mainly daytime and rural shows - was relocated away - lots of it to Bristol.
JK
JKDerry
I would like to see Studio A at BBC Blackstaff in Belfast used more. Mastermind was based in Belfast for the last series. It is a very decent sized studio, at 6,000 Sq Ft right in the heart of Belfast, however they have an issue for some productions, there is no permanent production gallery, it is all provided by an outside broadcasting unit.
DE
denton
I would like to see Studio A at BBC Blackstaff in Belfast used more. Mastermind was based in Belfast for the last series. It is a very decent sized studio, at 6,000 Sq Ft right in the heart of Belfast, however they have an issue for some productions, there is no permanent production gallery, it is all provided by an outside broadcasting unit.


Mastermind has been recorded in Blackstaff since 2019. The recent BBC Two quiz show, Lightning, was also recorded in Studio A.
DE
denton
You've also got some bizarre set-ups going on though moving things out of London - Sunday Morning Live is one.

Has BBC Northern Ireland's name on it, but is pretty much all London based after it moved there a few years ago after being based in Belfast.


Actually it's had "BBC Studios Factual Salford" on it for a while now!
MA
Matrix
Personally, I think this is a disruptive but really welcome development.

I think some thought really needs to go into this - not just moving one team (say Education) or one programme (News at 1, say).

If there’s a real appetite for some devolved thinking then there are some units (politics) which seem to have a need for a London base, but I’d pose the question of which other depts have as strong a ‘space and place’ claim and flip it.
DV
dvboy
Is anyone aware of a list/information somewhere online about the various BBC units/departments and where they are based?

Reason I ask is I’ve seen several tweets relating to this story and complaining about Birmingham/the Midlands in general.

HR is in Birmingham isn't it?

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