BBC radio stations 'could share'

Tuesday 14 June 2011 13:52 BST

Four of the BBC's most popular radio stations could save money by being moved to the same building and sharing a "refined management structure", according to a new report.

The corporation asked commercial radio executive John Myers to look at potential savings at Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music and 1Xtra.

Mr Myers said the BBC and its staff lost out because the stations rarely work with each other and "things go unlearned and untaught and real value and experience is wasted particularly below middle management".

He added: "Broadcasting all four networks from a single location under a refined management structure would undoubtedly have the biggest impact on costs with the benefit of departments being merged and best practice and expertise shared."

He also said staff were "exasperated" by the scale of compliance procedures, adding: "They argue it works against them taking personal responsibility as many issues are 'referred up' for clearance."

The BBC has come under fire from its own staff after introducing more compliance procedures since the Sachsgate scandal when Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand made prank phone calls to actor Andrew Sachs.

Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans described the compliance department as "an unbelievable nightmare" and, during a stand-up routine last year, Brand waved what he said was a BBC compliance form which he claimed was signed by broadcaster Jeremy Paxman complete with the words "Russell, this your fault".

Mr Myers' report suggested Radio 2 should do more live broadcasting that would save "hours of compliance listening before transmission" and be "less costly".

He also said the station, which employs studio managers on every programme, sometimes uses them "as a comfort blanket" and that presenters should take on the work where possible.

Director of BBC Audio and Music Tom Davie said: "The key challenge was to identify possible ways of sensibly reducing costs while protecting the quality of our programmes."

He added the report had "identified some clear areas where we can look to do things more efficiently, such as improving co-ordination and reducing unnecessary duplication where appropriate".

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