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Salford move for BBC Breakfast confirmed for 10 April

March 26th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Journalism

BBC Breakfast news will be broadcast from MediaCity in Salford for the first time on Tuesday, 10 April, after the long Easter weekend, the corporation confirmed today.

The transfer north for the flagship morning programme on BBC One completes the broadcaster’s current move of some news output to Salford. BBC Radio FiveLive has already moved, as have the children’s department and some parts of BBC future media and technology.

BBC director of news Helen Boaden said in a release:

Breakfast completes our current moves of news output to Salford. The move means we now have 400 journalists based in Salford reporting locally, regionally and nationally, helping us find new emerging stars and better reflect our audiences right across the country.

From local radio to national current affairs this will be a lively creative hub for journalism bringing extra depth and richness to our reporting.

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Media release: Sian Williams swaps BBC Breakfast for Radio 4

March 1st, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Journalism

BBC Breakfast presenter Sian Williams is moving to Radio 4, after reportedly not wanting to move to the broadcaster’s new base at MediaCity in Salford, Greater Manchester.

The BBC said in a release today that Williams will join Radio 4’s Saturday Live magazine show from 5 May. Her last morning presenting BBC Breakfast will be on March 15.

Williams, who began her career on local BBC stations before moving to Radio 4 where she spent seven years as a senior producer, said in the release:

“I’m thrilled to be coming home to Radio 4. I spent many happy years as a producer here and have enjoyed presenting programmes on the network too. The opportunity to host Saturday Live with Reverend Richard Coles is too good to miss. It’s a warm and witty way to start the weekend and I can’t wait to be a part of the new team.”

The Telegraph notes today: “The announcement follows months of speculation about Williams’s future. She was among a number of BBC staff who refused to relocate to Salford, citing family reasons for her decision to remain in London.”

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The Register: Salford ‘teething problems’ lead to BBC errors

February 16th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick

BBC insiders have spoken out about “endemic problems” with technology at the new MediaCity facilities in Salford, which have led to a series of errors including one unfortunate captioning mistake that saw a child being labelled as a recovering alcoholic.

“Once a mistake has been entered into the computer, the director in the TV gallery can do nothing to stop it. The software won’t allow it,” a source told The Register.

Other problems include failing clocks and non-responsive robotic cameras. The problems have so far affected BBC North West programmes, but BBC Breakfast is also moving into the studio complex shortly.

The BBC response is: “It wasn’t a technical error but rather just a simple case of people getting used to the new systems. With the introduction of any new systems, teething problems are to be expected.”

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Salford Star: Council newspaper costing £27,797 a month – what impact on local news?

February 2nd, 2010 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

Figures released by a Freedom of Information request made by the Salford Star suggest that Salford Council’s Life in Salford magazine is costing £27,797 per month, the title reports.

The Star asks what the production of the magazine and the council’s expenditure on it mean for local news outlets – the Salford Advertiser has recently withdrawn free home delivery from more postcode areas, while the Star “struggles to get back into print”:

While the Salford Star and the Salford Advertiser are only available free online, an estimated two thirds of Salford’s population do not have access to the internet.

The only free printed information people are now getting about their city comes courtesy of Salford City Council and its Life in Salford magazine. With no criticism of the Council, no debate, no accountability, low quality content and bucket loads of public money showered all over it…

Full story at this link…

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Major MEN changes ‘are designed to protect the business and its journalism for the future,’ says GMG Regional Media statement

March 10th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Job losses, Jobs, Journalism, Newspapers

Following the news that 150 jobs – 78 of those journalists’ – will be cut in GMG Regional Media, this statement has been released from the group:

“MEN Media, publisher of the Manchester Evening News and weekly titles across Greater Manchester, has today briefed staff on a range of proposed changes to the business.

“The local and regional press is facing the worst conditions in living memory as the economic downturn exacerbates and accelerates longer-term structural changes in the behaviour of advertisers and readers.

“The viability of local and regional titles is under threat due to steeply falling revenues that we do not expect to return to previous levels even when economic conditions improve. Publishers therefore need to find a sustainable new model if they are to survive.

“The major changes announced at MEN Media today are designed to protect the business and its journalism for the future through a new model with significantly lower fixed costs.

“By far the largest cost within the business is salaries, and while we have examined every option short of job losses, it has become clear that it is impossible to bring stability to MEN Media without substantially reducing the number of people we employ. We expect approximately 150 positions to be made redundant across MEN Media.

“While we will seek volunteers for redundancy wherever possible, we anticipate that compulsory redundancies will be unavoidable. Those people affected will be offered significantly enhanced severance terms.

“MEN Media has reviewed all aspects of its business. In addition to salaries, we have targeted various other costs and looked at how we can
improve in areas such as advertising sales, working practices and editorial systems.

“The proposed changes announced today are summarised below:

  • Approximately 150 positions across all functions and disciplines to be made redundant within MEN Media. This includes 78 journalists across 23 titles.
  • One consolidated editorial team for the MEN and weeklies at Scott Place in Manchester, working across MEN Media’s various titles and websites.
  • All branch offices apart from Stockport will be closed in the coming months. Offices in Accrington, Ashton, Macclesfield, Oldham, Rochdale, Rossendale, Salford and Wilmslow will be closed.
  • Reporters will continue to work their patches, but no longer from a local office. There will be increased remote working to support this.
  • Investment in a new editorial system common to all titles, and training for all users. The new system has improved web and multimedia capabilities, and will enable journalists to work across MEN Media’s different outlets.
  • New layout and design for weekly titles.
  • Central section of common pages for the weeklies, drawn from the MEN’s leisure/entertainment content.
  • Greater sharing of content between the MEN and weekly titles.
  • A new house agreement to cover the new editorial department.
  • A revised pay schedule for journalists based on the current weeklies pay schedule. Journalists who are paid in excess of the schedule will have their pay ring-fenced and protected.
  • Fewer free copies of the MEN and weekly titles distributed.
  • Reduced pagination of the MEN.
  • Revamped advertising sales operation with greater focus on growing new business and selling multimedia solutions.
  • Better targeted advertising sales strategies, with improved use of customer data.”

Mark Dodson, chief executive of GMG Regional Media (parent company of MEN Media), said:

“MEN Media’s role is to produce great journalism for our readers, users and viewers in Greater Manchester. If we want to continue to be able to do this, we need to find a new, sustainable, lower-cost business model to support it. The economic viability of local and regional newspapers is under very real and imminent threat.

“The decision about job losses has been a very difficult one to make, and I deeply regret that it has been necessary. Nonetheless, I do believe this is the right decision for MEN Media’s future and for the majority of staff who will remain with the company.

“There is a successful future for local and regional journalism in the commercial sector, but we need to protect our businesses now to give ourselves the best chance of reaching it.

“This is a worrying time for everyone working in the local and regional press. Some argue that our industry has no future. I think this is completely wrong – people still want local and regional journalism, and advertisers want to reach those people.”

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NCTJ survey on multimedia training still open for comments

October 3rd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Training

A quick heads-up that the NCTJ online survey is still open, which first launched in September. The idea is to get feedback to help re-shape journalism training and qualifications provision.

It takes about ten minutes to do, and will close on Wednesday October 8. The big question behind it all: how can training can meet the needs of employers in the multimedia world?

Editors can give their views here: www.qualasys.com/nctj_survey_2008_industry.htm
Heads of journalism running accredited courses can give their feedback here: www.qualasys.com/nctj_survey_2008_providers.htm

The report will be published in November and discussed at the Society of Editors’ 2008 conference in Bristol 9-11 November, and the NCTJ conference for heads of journalism in Salford 4/5 December.

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