Ever since BBC director general Greg Dyke unveiled intentions to streamline operations to the tune of 900 jobs back in April, speculations and vagaries from the parties involved have continued to fuel uncertainty. The recent appointment of several senior managers to newly created posts, however, seems to indicate a more concrete picture is on its way. Savings generated by the re-organization are estimated to reach £130 million per year, which will be reinvested into programming and services.
In an effort to speed up commissioning and improve genre development, commissioners now exist for entertainment, drama, factual and arts. Roland Keating is controller of arts, but will remain controller of the pubcaster’s digital channels. Nicola Moody, previously head of the now abolished Independent Commissioning Unit, has been picked as controller of factual.
Three program departments – docs and investigations, leisure and factual entertainment, and specialist factual – act as subheads to the factual and learning programming division jointly helmed by directors Lorraine Heggessey and Michael Stevenson. Glenwyn Benson, formerly head of science, is controller of specialist factual. Anne Morrison, formerly head of features and events, was named controller of leisure and factual entertainment. Paul Hamann, a 25-year veteran of the pubcaster and currently head of docs and history, declined the new, more administrative position as controller of docs and investigations and is considering new options. In addition, Ernie Rea’s title as head of religion was lengthened to head of religion and ethics, while Marilyn Wheatcroft’s role as head of education production at BBC Worldwide was expanded to factual development.