BBC takes control of BBC Worldwide PR

Tuesday, October 27 2009, 14:45 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

The BBC will start directly overseeing global public relations for BBC Worldwide as it takes greater control over the impact of its commercial division.

Under the BBC's "cost neutral" restructure plans, the 25-strong PR team at Worldwide will report directly to Ed Williams, director of communications in the licence fee funded side of the corporation, according to The Guardian.

The previous system involved a "dotted line" reporting arrangement between Worldwide and BBC, which ensured greater freedom for the former to make decisions.

However, since Worldwide's previous director of communications Alison Jeremy departed for BT last week, her successor will work under a "hard line" of reporting to the BBC in key areas of planning and strategy.

Despite Worldwide still being viewed as an independent entity making commercial moves in the market, the BBC Executive is well aware that its activities in overseas markets can impact heavily on the corporation's overall reputation.

The BBC is also currently planning to create a new overall marketing communications division to be overseen by BBC Vision director of communications Paul Almond. The new team will include the future media and technology division led by Matt Phillips, along with the existing online publishing teams and the forthcoming social media team.