MediaCityUK decision time for senior BBC staff – Update: Half agree to move

Update: 15 out of the 32 BBC controllers and senior managers in the affected departments (Sport, Children’s, Learning, Future Media and Technology and Radio 5 Live) have agreed to make the move to MediaCityUK, Salford Quays in 2011.

Those who have decided not to go to Salford now face being redeployed within other departments or made redundant. (You can read more details at the Guardian.) Lower level staff will have to make a decision later in the year.

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Next Thursday is the deadline for senior BBC staff to decide whether or not to make the move to MediaCityUK, and some aren’t waiting until then…

BBC Learning Controller Liz Cleaver has decided to step down later this year and not to make the move to Salford – she joins 5 Live presenter Simon Mayo on the ‘thanks-but-no-thanks’ list.

On the opposite side of the fence we have 5 Live drive time presenter Peter Allen, who sounds very optimistic about the MediaCity move; – “This is now and this is happening, and there’s no stopping it. When you see it you realise this is how it’s going to be. And it’s impressive.”

Allen joins fellow 5 Live-er Nicky Campbell – who was the first ‘big name’ to make his intentions known.

This week the director of BBC North Peter Salmon described the move to Salford Quays as a ‘new adventure‘, and does not want staff to see it as a ‘forced march‘. In what is most likely an attempt to encourage staff about the move, Salmon also said he wants the BBC at MediaCity to be “more fluid” than in London, helping staff to move between departments more easily. (more details at Broadcastnow).

At a time when media companies across the North West are scaling back, commitments to the move from BBC staff could be a timely boost for the MediaCityUK project – which has yet to secure any big name tenants other than the BBC and Salford Uni. Even the BBC itself is asking if MediaCityUK will work.

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