BBC Vision and Audio tossed on bonfire, replaced by 'TV', 'Radio'
New DG calls a spade a spade, kills off euphemisms
Strategy Unboutique In a radical rebranding move, the BBC will rename the department responsible for television programmes to "TV", and the department responsible for radio to "Radio". The department that produces journalism - sport and news - will henceforth be known as the "Journalism" department.
The changes coincide with a reshuffle of Beeb top brass by new Director General Tony Hall, who officially starts work on 2 April.
Since 2006 the TV unit has been known as "BBC Vision", and radio as "BBC Audio and Music". Both names were created in a strategy-boutique exercise by Mark Thompson, who promised a more responsive operation. In 2010, "Vision" could count at least 70 staff on salaries over six figures, including £410,000 for then-head of department Jana Bennett.
Hall will bring in former Labour culture minister James Purnell, who was head of corporate planning at the BBC in the 1990s; Purnell will be the broadcaster's director of strategy and digital on a salary of £295,000. And moving sideways to Radio is Director of News Helen Boaden, who was very mildly ticked off in the Pollard report* into Newsnight's handling of a Jimmy Savile investigation.
Audio and Music radio chief Tim Davie will be promoted to run the BBC's commercial wing, BBC Worldwide. Hall said the entire reshuffle will be funded from existing budgets.
You can get a sense of the structure by clicking on this simple infographic.
Hall's shake-up will undoubtedly disappoint Reg columnist Steve Bong, who is a fan of the 2006 rebranding.
"BBC Vision is a good start, the next step is to abolish TV completely. The BBC [should] leverage existing digital platforms like YouTube to deliver its video content, which will naturally need to be of a length suitable for the new always-on digital generation," he wrote in his ultimately unsuccessful public application for the post of Director General in November.
The storied Shoreditch VC today told us the reversion to TV and Radio "was a black day for nextification". ®
* Boaden's lawyers told Nick Pollard that no blame should be attached to the Director of News. But Pollard argued that since "a significant part" of her department was in "virtual meltdown", she should have taken "much greater responsibility" [Pollard, page 184]. "Excellent blog. You are a terrific writer x", Boaden texted Newsnight editor Peter Rippon during the height of the Beeb's Savile troubles [quote 91].