‘Newsbeat’ chief Rod McKenzie moved after complaints of bullying from over 30 BBC staff

The allegations against Mr McKenzie are spread over two decades

The BBC has moved one of its senior news executives from his job in charge of Newsbeat, the broadcaster’s youth news service, following complaints from more than 30 members of staff over his alleged bullying management style, The Independent has learnt.

Rod McKenzie, Newsbeat’s long-standing editor and a former presenter, has denied any wrongdoing during a BBC disciplinary process that has lasted for almost a year. Mr McKenzie was last year considered a possible new controller of speech-based network BBC Radio 5 Live in Salford.

But the BBC’s Head of Programmes Ceri Thomas has briefed Newsbeat’s staff to tell them that Mr McKenzie is to be moved out of the BBC’s network news department to another part of the corporation in an unknown role.

It is understood that Mr McKenzie has been given a final written warning and is taking one month’s leave. There is unhappiness at the outcome among complainants, some of whom have left the BBC.

The Independent reported this week that eight members of BBC staff were disciplined for bullying or sexual harassment in the first nine months of last year but only one was dismissed. “It’s not the case that there is no room for bullies at the BBC. There are just different places for them,” said one source.

The complaints against Mr McKenzie formed part of a review last year led by Dinah Rose QC into allegations of bullying and other forms of harassment at the BBC.

The allegations of bullying against Mr McKenzie were spread over two decades. He was alleged to have had his favourites within the Newsbeat team and to have “frozen out” those whom he did not like, shouting at individuals in front of other staff. Mr McKenzie continues to protest his innocence, believing he has been the victim of a social media campaign.

A source close to him said: “He strongly rejects these claims and maintains that his behaviour is entirely in keeping with a pressurised news environment.” Mr McKenzie was said to be pleased that some of the “most lurid” claims about him were not upheld.

He is said to have disputed that he had favourites, arguing that “a favourite is a high achiever by another name”.

The BBC’s disciplinary process did not uphold claims against Mr McKenzie that he brought prejudices to the process of deciding which members of staff lost their positions as part of the BBC’s Delivering Quality First efficiency savings process.

Mr Thomas told Newsbeat staff that McKenzie had been the subject of “many more expressions and testimonials of support than criticism”.

Mr McKenzie is described by colleagues as a “complex” character. Following the “Sachsgate” furore over comments made by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross on the voicemail of actor Andrew Sachs and broadcast on BBC Radio 2, Mr McKenzie wrote a blog in which he claimed criticism of the presenters was based on “synthetic” anger and driven by “salary envy and Schadenfreude”.

The BBC is under pressure to address internal bullying after Ms Rose’s “Respect At Work” review received submissions from 930 people. Parts of the subsequent report made “uncomfortable reading”, said the BBC Director General,Tony Hall.

“We need to be honest about our shortcomings and single minded in addressing them. I want zero tolerance of bullying and a culture where people feel able to raise concerns and have the confidence that they will be dealt with appropriately,” he added.

The BBC said: “We do  not discuss internal staff or disciplinary issues.”

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Head of Marketing - London

£60000 - £85000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Interim Head of Marketing / Marketin...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Digital Project Manager

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Digital Project Manager is needed to join an exciti...

Paid Search Analyst / PPC Analyst

£24 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Paid Search Analyst / PPC...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam