BBC's Entwistle Revamps Production Structure

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George Entwistle, Director BBC Vision, has unveiled a radical re-organisation of BBC Vision and Rights & Business Affairs that he claims will “stimulate new ways of working and help free-up increased content spend.”

The new structure aims to simplify business processes to create one operational spine responsible for supporting the BBC’s genre strategy and bringing together Channels, Platforms, Commissioning and Production into a single whole under a unified Vision HQ. While keeping Commissioning and Production as separate functions, “the new structure will deliver business support efficiently and effectively to all sides of the business”.

In the new core, activity will be structured around three new genres: Knowledge and Daytime; Comedy and Entertainment; and Drama, Film & Acquisitions. Smaller business teams will be retained in Vision and Rights and Business Affairs to ensure the genres are working to the same standards. “By creating one operational spine for each genre group, Vision will reduce duplication, minimise internal transaction costs and deliver a more effective business model,” argues the corporation.

As part of the restructure, three new senior Controller of Business roles will be created. Reporting to Bal Samra, each will lead on business affairs for one of the three main genre groups and will be responsible for all the key business functions within their genre. The Controllers of Business will work in new leadership teams alongside the Commissioning and Production Genre Controllers in each of the key genre groups.

George Entwistle, Director of BBC Vision, explained: “The key to the creative future of the BBC is to ensure good people and good money spend less time tied up in process and more creating the highest quality TV programmes and multiplatform output. The hard choices we’ve already made, plus the radical new ways of working implicit in this reorganisation, will help simplify what we do – freeing people and money to concentrate on serving audiences.”

Bal Samra, Director of Vision Operations and Director of Right and Business Affairs, and Pat Younge, Chief Creative Officer, BBC Vision Productions, have worked with Entwistle to help shape the structure of the division.

In the new set-up, Bal Samra will continue to be responsible for all Vision Operations and Rights and Business Affairs, while Pat Younge’s new role will see him freed up from operational obligations to focus on the creative leadership of all network TV production in Drama, Factual, Entertainment and Comedy. He said: “Eight BAFTAs, the biggest haul for any production business, shows BBC in-house production is a real creative powerhouse. These changes will make us a simpler and more creative place to work, which will help us retain and recruit the best talent in the business.”

Vision’s structure will be implemented in phases, with changes complete by 2013. The recruitment process for the new Controller of Business posts will start immediately, with appointments due in the summer.