Deputy named for BBC News

Van Klaveren: appointed

BBC director of news Helen Boaden has named Adrian Van Klaveren her deputy as job cuts loom, writes Julie Tomlin.

Currently head of newsgathering, Van Klaveren has been appointed deputy director of news and controller of production – with the task of driving through savings expected to be announced by director general Mark Thompson on Tuesday.

Replacing Mark Damazer who is moving to be controller of Radio 4, Van Klaveren will work closely with Peter Phillips, BBC News’ chief operating officer “to drive and implement strategy for News’ production processes throughout the forthcoming BBC efficiency targets,” the BBC said.

Some BBC journalists had thought Boaden would not appoint a deputy in order to demonstrate a willingness to cut down bureaucracy.

“There was a lot of talk that she wouldn’t fill it,” said one source. “Some people think this doesn’t send out a very good signal when there is an expectation of job cuts.” Van Klaveren, who has been deputy editor of the Nine O’Clock News and Newsnight , was responsible for trials in October to see if the BBC could do without one of the news agencies Reuters or APTN.

This was seen as an indication of the extent to which the BBC news department would have to tighten its belt to meet Thompson’s targets aimed at creating a “leaner” BBC.

The broadcasting unions believe thousands of jobs will be axed when Thompson unveils the findings of BBC internal reviews next week.

Van Klaveren, who has been with the BBC since joining as a trainee in 1983, acknowledged the news department faced “tough financial targets”.

The appointment is the latest in a reshuffle after Richard Sambrook was made head of the BBC’s World Service and global news division and was replaced as director of news by Boaden.

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