New BBC move to leave London: Radio 3 ‘may go north’ and shows such as Radio 4’s Today could spend time outside the capital in latest shake-up for the broadcaster
- It is expected to see episodes of Today programme broadcast outside London
- Last night there was even speculation that Radio 3 could be moved to Salford
- Tim Davie is tackling claims the BBC is dominated by a ‘metropolitan’ mindset
The BBC will today announce a dramatic overhaul of the corporation in a bid to make it less London-centric.
It is expected to see many episodes of the Today programme and other flagship shows broadcast outside the capital.
Last night there was even speculation that Radio 3 could be moved to Salford as part of the sweeping changes, but the corporation refused to comment on these claims.
Insiders predicted that hundreds of jobs will be moved out of London, and many new roles also be created outside the capital even though its overall headcount will be cut, with hundreds of job losses announced.
Broadcasting House, the BBC’s headquarters in central London. The BBC will today announce a dramatic overhaul of the corporation in a bid to make it less London-centric
The moves will reflect director general Tim Davie’s strategy to tackle claims that the BBC is dominated by a ‘metropolitan’ mindset and does not represent large parts of the UK.
It is understood a major part of tackling this perceived London-centric view will be to broadcast flagship news programmes from locations outside of the capital for a significant amount of the time.
As well as the Today programme, which sources suggested could be aired from different locations for about 100 programmes a year, other shows like Newsnight and PM are also likely to vary where they air from.
But BBC staff criticised the moves, saying people were ‘dreading’ the announcement after hundreds of job cuts were previously announced.
A senior BBC source said: ‘Tim says he is determined to get more diversity, including more class diversity with people from non-London and non-Oxbridge backgrounds. And I think he is pretty serious.
‘Although some people will simply sell their houses and move, a lot won’t and therefore there will be a lot of openings and opportunities for people to join outside London.’
The moves will reflect director general Tim Davie’s strategy to tackle claims that the BBC is dominated by a ‘metropolitan’ mindset and does not represent large parts of the UK
Another said jobs being relocated to ‘other parts of the country’ felt like ‘more redundancies by the backdoor’.
They said: ‘It’s a de facto compulsory redundancy. Because people can’t up sticks and their whole lives necessarily. Everyone is so exhausted of the fighting.
‘I know that it is going to be a proper restructuring. It will really put the cat among the pigeons.’
Other measures could see a large number of new video reporters in places where the BBC has traditionally not had a strong presence.
One insider said they also expected the number of productions made outside London to increase significantly.
Last September, Mr Davie said: ‘If we are going to get closer to our audience we need an organisation based more across the UK.’
Last year Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden told the BBC to do more to get in touch with the ‘whole of the United Kingdom’.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘The BBC needs to offer value to all licence fee payers no matter where they are and that’s something we all agree we can do more of.’