Myers Report recommends reduction to DQF savings target for BBC Local Radio

Date: 27.02.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.00
Category: Radio; Corporate
A review into how BBC Local Radio can maximise productivity and deliver efficiency savings conducted by the independent media consultant, John Myers, has been published today by the BBC.

John Myers recommends a significant reduction to the savings target suggested in last October's Delivering Quality First proposals. The BBC Trust has already asked BBC management to look again at the target following its public consultation. Myers says savings on scope (content) should be much reduced because they may threaten audience size but suggests that there are further savings to be made in efficiency targets.

In particular, he concludes that significant savings can be made through cutting or sharing management functions.

Myers has also concluded that the standard of journalism in BBC Local Radio is good and at times impressive and that it fulfils an important role across the UK with a range of programmes and journalism that is both appealing and highly valued.

The BBC's Controller of English Regions, David Holdsworth, said: "We are grateful to John Myers for his report which will inform our thinking as we consider the BBC Trust recommendations on savings to be made in BBC Local Radio. We value his endorsement of BBC Local Radio as an excellent service, staffed by dedicated professionals, passionate about delivering much-valued output.”

John Myers' remit was to suggest ways in which BBC Local Radio might make savings through people, management and back office functions to reduce the effort required in producing and presenting local radio without reducing the volume or quality of original journalism, material produced or adversely impacting the localness and live nature of the output.

Myers says within the report: "I believe it (BBC Local Radio) can make savings without affecting journalism or the depth of coverage that is required."

"Listeners must be served a range of distinctive programmes on local radio that offer choice and companionship and it must be delivered brilliantly and in a style that is all of its own."

"Savings can be delivered less through Scope and more through Productivity." He also raises concerns about facilities, central costs and the total cost of staff employment.

The report can be read here

Note to Editors

The next step will be for BBC management to go back to the BBC Trust with revised proposals next month.