Boaden takes formal charge for BBC Radio 5 live

Helen Boaden will continue to lead the BBC’s Radio output, and take additional responsibility for 5 live, as DG Tony Hall announces major management changes at the corporation.

BBC Radio 5 live moves into BBC Radio from North, whilst BBC North will now be part of Nations and Regions instead of a stand alone division.

Anne Bulford becomes the BBC’s Deputy Director General.

The Director General said this morning: “I am proud of what we have achieved over the last few years. Together we stabilised the BBC after a difficult period in its history. We went on to create a compelling case for a new decade of the BBC and secured an eleven-year charter as a result.

“Now, as we move towards this new Charter period, I want us to turn our energy to focus on the future of public service broadcasting and what it means for our audiences. We must continue to harness the creative power of the UK. We must continue to be a creative beacon to the world and we will do this best by renewing the way we engage with our audiences as we enter our centenary year.

“The leadership changes I am making today can help ensure that the BBC is best equipped to do this. We must never stand still. We must always be looking to innovate and change. The new Executive will lead this process of creative renewal to ensure the BBC remains the most creative force in the world.

“On a practical level, these changes are also about creating a simpler BBC with fewer layers and clear lines of accountability. Much has already been achieved, but this process must now be accelerated.

“The BBC also needs to reinvigorate its offer to the public on education – something I am passionate about. That’s why its importance is now recognised at the very top of the BBC.

“The UK is changing and changing fast. The BBC needs to recognise and address that. That’s why the work of improving our news and programming offer to the nations and regions is so important. It will be a challenge in an environment where resources are tight, but it is a priority and the steps taken today recognise that.”

Below are the major changes, as announced this morning:

• Anne Bulford becomes the BBC’s Deputy Director General. In addition to continuing to lead finance, operations, HR, legal, and design and engineering, she will take on the additional responsibilities related to the BBC’s marketing and audiences teams and create a new centralised commercial and rights group which will co-ordinate all BBC’s negotiations to deliver the best possible deals. This puts Anne in charge of the distribution of content and reaching audiences in the most effective way – something vital as audiences change viewing habits. Anne will look at what more can be done to ensure the BBC spends as much money as possible on content.

• We will have a new director of Nations and Regions. The BBC already produces around 50% of its output from outside the M25. That is a strong record, but the UK is changing and so must the BBC. The role will bring together and enhance the BBC’s offer to the nations and regions of the UK to improve our content while also looking for savings so that more money can be released for content. The role will bring together the nations and regions of the UK. The Directors in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the regional hubs in the North, Midlands and South West will report to this role. The Nations directors will continue to play a crucial role.

• Charlotte Moore will become Director of Content, and remain as Controller of BBC One. She will be responsible for all the BBC’s TV channels and iPlayer. She will also take on oversight of BBC Sport.

• James Purnell will become Director of Strategy and Education. He will lead the BBC’s work on strategy and on the delivery of the BBC’s new Ideas Service, which aims to partner the BBC with leading academic, arts and science institutions such as the British Museum, the Royal Society, the Royal Shakespeare Company, leading arts festivals and galleries to curate and commission content and offer an online resource. This is part of a renewed drive to put education at the heart of what the BBC does. The aim is to reinvigorate the BBC’s mission on education through a new education strategy for BBC Children and BBC Learning – both of which will now report to him. James will also lead on BBC’s broader partnerships work.

• Helen Boaden will continue to lead the BBC’s Radio output and will formally take responsibility for 5Live as it moves into BBC Radio. (reported above)

• James Harding will continue as Director of News and Current Affairs. Tim Davie’s role as Director of Worldwide and Mark Linsey’s role as Director of Studios also remain unchanged.

• The BBC is also confirming that the Executive position representing BBC North will close. The director of BBC Children’s – Alice Webb – will lead the region on a day to day basis. As a result of these changes, the Executive Team will reduce from 16 members to 11. The BBC has already saved over 40 per cent on its senior manager pay bill and reduced its overall pay bill by £150 million a year. As a result of this reshaped top team, each area will now look at the immediate layers below to identify further headcount and post savings.

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