Is the BBC dropping its television and radio divisions?

bbc headquarters
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London-based broadcasting giant BBC is planning to drop its channel-based television and radio divisions to help reshape the company’s future for “content and audience-led divisions.” The Telegraph reports that the news will be unveiled in a speech by BBC director-general Lord Tony Hall. This may be the largest organizational overhaul in the broadcaster’s 93-year history.

For the time being, the existing television channels and radio stations will stay on the air. But according to Lord Hall, the blurring of boundaries between television, radio, and the Internet will lessen the demand for traditional broadcasts.

New divisions may include BBC Entertain, which will absorb Radio 2 and televised entertainment program, and BBC Inform, in which news services and other radio stations like Five Live will be found. Each new division will have smaller ones underneath it such as BBC Youth (a subdivision of BBC Entertain), which will include the online channel BBC Three and popular music station Radio 1.

Hall’s overhaul involves cleaning house by way of letting some key executives go and merging a large part of the corporation’s management. Lord Hall wants to “flatten the corporation’s labyrinthine management structures” and put more money into what you see on the screen. Channel controller jobs have been rolled into a single position: Charlotte Moore has been appointed the new controller of television channels and iPlayer for the BBC.

The recently departed director of television, Danny Cohen, will not be replaced. Cohen quit his $465,000-per-year job after disagreements with Hall and Alan Yentob, the former creative director. He quit the BBC after being asked whether he tried to influence the broadcaster’s coverage of the collapse of the Kids Company charity. Additionally, senior executive controller Kim Shillinglaw left her job at BBC Two last month after Hall’s decision to appoint Moore as the sole executive controller of channels, etc.

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