BBC's new governors set to use Luther Pendragon

The new body that will oversee the BBC from the beginning of 2007 has hired Luther Pendragon to advise on strategic comms in its first year.

The BBC Trust replaces the corporation's board of governors when the Royal Charter comes into force
in January.

Luther's brief revolves around explaining the trust's role to groups such as the public, viewer bodies, production companies, other broadcasters, ­politicians and BBC employees.

Luther partner Mike Granatt described the job as ‘fascinating and challenging'. He added: ‘The BBC Trust will be at the heart of big changes in the way the BBC operates and is governed. It will be directly and openly accountable to lic­ence-fee payers, but must also defend the BBC's independence.'

The trust will be responsible for issuing licences for individual services, and will approve significant changes in scheduling.

The formation of the trust was first mooted in a Green Paper published last year after the Hutton inquiry.

It will have to liaise with commercial broadcasters that have recently voiced concerns that the scheduling on some BBC services are encroaching on their subject matter and affecting advertising revenue.

The Luther team, led by Granatt, will report to BBC Governance Unit head of comms Tina Stowell.

ALSO... BBC head of strategic comms David May des­cribed videoclip-sharing website YouTube as ‘a direct threat to our core business' at the Public Sector Communications conference last week.

He claimed the ever-­increasing number of media outlets had sparked a ­‘fundamental rethink' of the corporation's structure.

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