Key BBC management restructure “delayed until September”

Exclusive: Tony Hall is said to be finding it hard to decide on roles at the top level of the BBC as his search for a new director of content proves “elusive”

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The much-heralded reorganisation of the top level of BBC management is now unlikely to be finalised before September, senior BBC sources have told RadioTimes.com.

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Director-general Tony Hall is said to be finding it difficult to find a suitable director of content to oversee the proposed new division at the Corporation, say sources, and the process has been hit by further delays it has been claimed.

The process is being overseen by BBC HR director Valerie Hughes-D’Aeth. According to sources, those whose futures will be decided under the reorganisation are said to be “finding the process frustrating”.

“This won’t be sorted until September,” said a source.

Hall wants to divide the Corporation into three divisions – Educate, Entertain and Inform – which would effectively herald an abolition of the traditional divisions between BBC television and radio.

This would be overseen by a new director of content, but Hall’s search for a candidate for this powerful role continues to be taking time.

As RadioTimes.com revealed last month, 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.

Hall had hoped to finalise his plans before Easter in a bid to deliver a wholesale reform of the entire organisation next month, but he has been forced back to the drawing board repeatedly as executives vie for roles and responsibilities, 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 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 frontrunner to lead BBC Entertain.

Meanwhile, there have at least been some movements towards filling vacant posts at the BBC.

Charlotte Moore recently announced that Kate Phillips, currently Creative Director of Formats at BBC Worldwide, had been appointed Controller, Entertainment Commissioning.

The role sees her replace Mark Linsey, who is now Director of BBC Studios; she will be responsible for overseeing entertainment commissioning across the Corporation.

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On the question of the delays to the overall reorganisation and the reasons behind it, a BBC spokesman dismissed the claims as “the same old gossip”, but declined to elaborate further.