H A R D C O P Y

Home base

Skirmishes are taking place over whether BBC Radio News and Current Affairs staff will transfer from Broadcasting House to the wastes of White City in west London. There is concern that Radio 5 Live will find its critical mass reduced if sport remains in central London while Five Live news is banished.

The Today programme is also concerned, believing its special authority derives from having a Broadcasting House base. Nor does it relish being reduced to one more staging post for politicians doing the round of soundbite breakfast television and radio. Insiders say the BBC's board of governors will arbitrate.

Room at the top

Frances Line (below), the controller of Radio 2, has announced her retirement, just days after the grey power channel, Britain's most popular, was named Station Of The Year in the Sony Awards.

She is credited with modernising it in accord with the BBC's public service remit, but without alienating faithful listeners who tune in for a record 13 hours per week.

The most likely successor is Radio 2's managing editor, David Vercoe, who has been closely associated with the success. Why upset a winning team?

Can but won't

Pettiness is rife in the battle to win the Channel 5 licence. All the bid applications were put on public review at the Independent Television Commission offices last week.

Virgin, Pearson and BSkyB agreed to exchange copies of the public documents with the other consortiums, to avoid having to send a team to photocopy the lot. But CanWest said no. As a result, each of the other bidders sent assistants to make copies of the CanWest material, while CanWest ordered a hapless underling to photocopy all three competing bids.

Compiled by Maggie Brown, Mathew Horsman and Rhys Williams.

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