BBC reorganises news operation

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The Independent Online
The BBC has announced a radical shake-up of its news organisation which will mean that many radio and television news programmes will be made by the same production teams.

Under the new arrangement, programmes such as Newsnight and Today will no longer have separate editors and many journalists have expressed fears that the individuality and quality of programmes will be affected.

The changes are expected to be applied within the next two weeks when all the editors and deputy editors of individual programmes will be replaced and the BBC's entire news output will be put into the hands of four executive editors.

The BBC said the changes would enable it to take maximum advantage of the move by radio and television into one building next year.

But industry observers believe the reorganisation is simply a cost-cutting exercise and will facilitate redundancies. Jeremy Paxman, who returns to the helm of Newsnight in two weeks' time, was dismissive of the shake- up. "It sounds like a sausage factory ," he said. How many newspapers are there which share editors?"

Kirsty Wark, who also presents Newsnight, said: "It seems strange when the BBC is committed to making distinctive programmes, and the audience research demonstrates that, that the programmes are not to have their own individual editors."

- Kate Watson-Smyth

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