The BBC’s director general Tony Hall has today (6 July) unveiled a major reshuffle of the BBC management, cutting his executive team from 16 to 11 in a move to create a "simpler BBC".
BBC1 boss Charlotte Moore has been awarded the top job of director of BBC content. She will remain as controller of BBC1, but will also take responsibility for all of the BBC’s TV channels and iPlayer and will take an oversight in BBC Sport.
Head of strategy James Purnell, who led the corporation’s charter renewal talks, becomes director of strategy and education. He will lead the BBC’s work on strategy and on the delivery of the corporation's new Ideas Service, which aims to partner the BBC with leading academic, arts and science institutions, arts festivals and galleries as part of a renewed drive to stronger emphasis on education.
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. Purnell will also lead on BBC’s broader partnerships work.
Finance director Anne Bulford becomes the BBC’s deputy director-general. Helen Boaden will continue to lead the BBC’s radio output and will formally take responsibility for 5Live as it moves into BBC Radio.
James Harding will continue as director of news and current affairs. Tim Davie’s role as director of BBC Worldwide and Mark Linsey’s role as director of Studios also remain unchanged.
Meanwhile the executive position representing BBC North will close following Peter Salmon’s departure. 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.
It comes as the BBC is under pressure to cut costs following last year’s financial settlement with the government. The broadcaster claims to have already saved over 40 per cent on its senior manager pay bill and says it has reduced its overall pay bill by £150m 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.
The BBC is also due to appoint a new Nations and Regions boss in order to meet demands by the Government to focus more on Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland under its new charter. The role was disbanded in 2008 after the last incumbent, Pat Loughrey, left the BBC.
Hall said: “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 11-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," he added. "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.”