News chiefs play a key part in BBC charter renewal effort

The BBC has named the five teams, four of which are led by news executives, to spearhead its charter renewal effort and look at the various issues that will inform the corporation’s forthcoming proposals to the Government in the run up to 2006.

The teams will report to the two charter renewal project leaders, BBC Four controller Roly Keating and Charles Constable, BBC head of business management and implementation, with a number of “sponsors” from the BBC executive committee.

The Changing World team is headed by Mark Friend, head of strategy for BBC News, and will look at social, demographic, economic, cultural and technological changes likely to affect the BBC over the next 20 years.

The Purposes team, run by head of BBC TV news Roger Mosey, will focus on how the BBC defines and articulates its purpose for the 21st century. Services, led by Susan Denham, controller of TV strategy along with Friend, will explore the type of programmes and services it needs to meet changing demands.

The Shape team is overseen by Peter Phillips, chief operating officer for BBC News, and will examine the scope and structure of the BBC “as a modern business meeting its public service and commercial responsibilities, as requested by Government and audiences”, a spokesman said.

The Funding team is jointly run by Zarin Patel, head of the licence fee unit, and John Turner, head of finance and commercial strategy. It will seek optimal ways of funding the BBC.

Keating said the process would allow the BBC “to ask itself, its audiences, its friends and critics the really serious questions about its future role in both UK and global broadcasting”. He said: “Each team will call on the significant expertise and capabilities we have throughout the organisation.”

By Wale Azeez

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