New unit to bring 'proper focus' to int'l news services
LONDON — The BBC is merging its international news operations, combining its commercially backed TV channel BBC World with publicly funded radio web BBC World Service.
The pubcaster stressed that the loss-making BBC World, now in 180 million homes across the globe, would continue to be funded commercially and without license fee cash, and that the restructuring was about bringing a “proper focus” to the BBC’s international news services.
Rivals CNN, Sky News and ITN, nevertheless, will not be pleased with the change. They already believe the BBC has too many advantages.
The new division will be led by World Service head Mark Byford as director, world service and global news. Byford also will oversee the BBC’s online news service.
The move means that BBC World will no longer be part of BBC Worldwide, the pubcaster’s commercial arm. As before, however, its content will be supplied by BBC News, a publicly funded division, through the BBC’s internal market.
BBC director general Greg Dyke said: “The BBC’s global role is of huge importance and significance, never more so than at this time of conflict. Both services, as well as online, bring huge credit back to Britain for independent and impartial coverage in diverse communities and cultures.”