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BBC Radio changes the way it commissions

Tim_Davie.jpgTim Davie, director, A&M, has announced a five-point plan to improve the radio commissioning process for the independent radio production sector.

Davie made the announcement at the Radio Production in the North (RPIN) conference in Salford.

There will be pan-BBC A&M commissioning criteria for all Radio Networks to ensure a simpler commissioning process. All independent radio production companies will be sent information on the new commissioning process, those that meet the criteria will be eligible for all BBC Radio commissioning rounds.

The main points of the plan are:

  • Replacing genre specific preferred supplier list with Open Indie Criteria
  • Launch of a less complex budgeting process
  • Confirmation of a simpler system of commissioning rounds
  • Introduction of 10% Window of Creative Competition (WoCC) across BBC Audio and Music
  • Appointment of Chris Burns, Audio & Music Group Manager and A&M Group Board member as 'Indie Champion'

The 10% Window of Creative Competition (WoCC) - the opportunity for independent production companies to compete with in-house to make BBC programmes - will be fully operational by 2012/13. This is in addition to the existing 10 percent independent production quota.

The measures are being introduced in response to the BBC Trust's review of the independent supply of radio programming last year which recommended increased openness and greater clarity.

The new system will be introduced by the beginning of 2012 and will mean the closure of the current preferred supplied list for BBC Radio 4 commissioning rounds.

Tim Davie said: 'These measures represent a real advance in building the partnership between BBC radio and the independent production sector. Overall, we intend to make BBC Radio a simpler and easier place to do business with so that the best ideas make it to air.'

Other measures announced as part of the plan include a review of the commissioning timetable to allow independent production companies more time to prepare pitches and a new simpler budgeting system to speed up the time between commissioning and production.


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