Monday, July 11, 2016


As yet, there's no sign of a job advert for the role of Director, Nations and Regions, BBC. There is, however, some resentment that the BBC's Directors of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been knocked one rung down Auntie's ever-extending hierarchical ladder.

However, there's probably less resentment from the PAs working for Ken MacQuarrie, Rhodri Talfan Davies and Peter Johnston - fewer flights, trains and hotels to organise, fewer expense claims to process, as the monthly trips to London for "Executive Team" meetings will no longer be required. Ken, Rhodri and Peter will have to report in to the new post; but will one of them have a pop at the job themselves ?

Lord Hall's recent attempts to persuade outside talent to join his top team have been unsuccessful, with the title Director of Content (holding position) going to Charlotte Moore, running tv commissioning. Helen Boaden turned down the Nations & Regions opportunity. It's hard to imagine the new job appealing to many; News is still the biggest player outside London; BBC Studios manages most of tv production outside London. Where's the fun in placating the burgeoning lobby groups of Cardiff, Glasgow/Edinburgh, Belfast, Birmingham, and all the other powerhouses who think all licence-fees raised on their patch should be spent in the their patch on programmes which reflect their patch ?

The lese-majeste felt by Ken, Rhodri and Peter is balanced by the fact that the new Unitary Board will have non-executives representing the Home Nations. Current Trustees Mark Florman (England), Aideen McGinley (Northern Ireland) Bill Matthews (Scotland) and Elan Closs Stephens (Wales) will be perusing the CVs of Lord Hall's current non-executives, to see if they have competition. Sir Howard Stringer has Welsh Heritage, if not the language. Lord Hall is keen on keeping Fiona Reynolds as 'senior' non-executive director; she could elbow out Mark Florman.

Meanwhile, a nice suite of offices at 180 Great Portland Street is likely to come on the market from 2017. With a Nando's just next door.    

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