MEDIA: Management review set to boost BBC radio news

The BBC has carried out a management review of its radio news

division in an attempt to sharpen the editorial focus of the

organisation that produces shows such as the Today programme.

The changes in the 400-strong division are aimed at creating savings to

free up more money for programme making. They involve the creation of

two jobs and the abolition of four.

The top job is that of managing editor (radio news) that will go to Bill

Rogers who is currently managing editor of 5 Live News Programmes.

Rogers will report to the head of radio news, Stephen Mitchell, and will

be asked to focus on staff issues, including training and diversity.

Rogers said: 'It is a change but not a huge change. It will be more

efficient - fewer people doing the same work, releasing more money for


I have been looking at diversity within radio news for a year already -

I am an easy convert to director-general Greg Dyke's idea about reaching

audiences and reflecting their interests right round the UK.'

Additionally there will be a new head of news for 5 Live, but this

position is still to be advertised. Rogers said the holder of this post

would be asked to focus on 'innovation, refreshment and developing our

journalistic edge'.

A BBC spokesperson said that overall the changes were about reducing a

level of management making the organisation more 'nimble', and saving


The jobs which will go in the re-organisation are those of deputy head

of radio news John Morrison, who moves to the World Service; executive

editor radio newsroom John Allen, who will leave the BBC; executive

editor Radio 4 current affairs Anne Koch, who is going to the World

Service; and managing editor 5 Live - Rogers' old job.

Much of the work of the old executive editors will be done by Mitchell

with Rogers providing support on staffing, recruitment and finance.

The changes have emerged from a review of how BBC news is grouped under


The radio news division produces all the BBC radio news bulletins for

the home networks and World Service Radio, as well as the news


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