Murch to head BBC2 specials unit

The BBC has appointed Correspondent editor Fiona Murch as head of BBC2’s new current affairs specials department which now controls political documentaries.

The announcement that the political documentary team was being brought under the control of BBC2’s specials department provoked anger among staff at Westminster.

As a result of the move, editor of political programmes Anne Tyerman was made redundant, and staff were moved from Millbank offices to Television Centre.

The creation of a new senior executive producer post to head the newly created specials department was announced at the time.

Murch has been editor of BBC2’s award-winning foreign affairs programme for the past four years.

Coming ahead of former Newsnight editor Sian Kevill’s review of the BBC’s political coverage, the restructuring, announced by head of current affairs Peter Horrocks, provoked fears that programmes such as Despatch Box and On the Record would be sidelined in the search for more popular formats.

Tyerman was responsible for Michael Cockerill’s News From No 10, the fly-on-the-wall exposŽ of Alastair Campbell and the lobby.

A taste of the programmes that the specials unit will be turning out was given in a statement from the BBC. It said Murch would be responsible for an investigation into football hooliganism, a documentary on the Royal Family and broadcasters and a three-part series on Britain’s security services.

By Julie Tomlin

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