BBC restructure delayed by internal wrangling over top jobs

Director-general Tony Hall is said by sources to be locked in negotiations with his lieutenants about the future of the Corporation and how it will be run

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BBC director-general Tony Hall is unlikely to put the finishing touches to his revamp of the BBC until late summer, according to BBC sources.

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His expected reorganisation of the Corporation into three divisions – Educate, Entertain and Inform – has been hit by what insiders are describing as “intense negotiations” between some of his senior staff about how the power within the BBC will be divided up.

Hall had hoped to finalise his plans before Easter in a bid to deliver a wholesale reform of the entire organisation next month, according to senior sources.

But the planned restructure, which is expected to see an abolition of the traditional divisions between BBC television and radio, has been redrawn a number of times, say insiders.

Sticking points are said to include objections from some senior staff to their new roles within the genre-based commissioning structure.

Current favourites to take the top jobs include BBC director of strategy and digital James Purnell, who is expected to run BBC Educate, and director of news and current affairs James Harding who is the favoured candidate to head up BBC Inform.

Acting director of television Charlotte Moore is thought to be the front-runner to lead BBC Entertain.

However, these figures, plus head of radio Helen Boaden, are said to be locked in discussions about exactly who will be in charge of what.

All the candidates are said to be keen to incorporate radio stations into their empires, with heated discussions said to revolve around Radio 4 and Radio 5 in particular, as well as BBC2 and factual entertainment.

Hall is also said to have struggled to find someone to fill a new head of content role which will oversee the three major divisions.

The director-general is understood to have approached Michael Jackson, the former BBC2 controller and Channel 4 chief executive about the job, but the approaches came to nothing. Former Endemol boss Tim Hincks is also said to have met Hall but was not offered the post.

A BBC spokesman said suggestions that Hall’s senior staff were in dispute over the changes was “nonsense and gossip” which did not come “from anyone with immediate knowledge”.

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The spokesman added: “We’re not giving a running commentary on this process – we have already announced significant change and will announce further change as needed once we are ready.”