Monday, July 4, 2016

Time out

In the honourable struggle to prevent BBC Director of News James Harding merging the licence-fee-funded BBC News Channel with the commercially-driven BBC World News operation (in order to fund mobile phone output), it has so far been the domestic side which feels threatened most and made the most noise.

As if to even the sympathy vote up, there are reports of a planned downing of computer tools by the BBC World teams this Thursday; the issue isn't yet clear, but in the never-quite-integrated world of One BBC News, the World teams have, historically, comparatively undemanding shift patterns, which might be under threat.

Similarly, in radio news, four years after the World Service and domestic subs were brought together in the Vast News Temple of Doom, managers are finally trying to wean those with a world view away from a four-on-four-off  shift pattern, on to the domestic three-on-three-off.  Of course, the domestic side are paid a higher allowance for "working flexibly", subject to intelligent use of the answerphone if called in.

All very unpredictable. Especially as James Harding approaches the BBC Executive July meeting. Perhaps the BBC World output can get through Thursday dispute by broadcasting more of our unexciting UK political story.

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