|BBC commits to better equipment, more staff and a Managing Editor for Dorset
Sun 27 Jan 2008
Andy Griffee, the Head of BBC English Regions held a meeting in Dorchester last Wednesday 23rd January, 2008 with his three Regional managers (John Lilley – South West), Mike Hapgood (BBC South) and Lucio Mesquita (BBC West), plus a number of technical people, to discuss Dorset. This was, we are sure, brought about by the cancellation of BBC Radio Dorset, and the pressure from DorBAG and others regarding the shoddy treatment this county receives from the BBC (Andy, once again, admitted freely that Dorset is underserved!).
Interestingly, a small handful of individuals were invited to join the BBC management after their own internal meeting.
Two DorBAG invitees were allowed to visit the
At the meeting, it was made clear by Andy and his team that the Dorchester Studio issues were recognised, and that equipment upgrades would be put in place. The invitees, including four DorBAG members, made a strong case for Dorset to be better served, and especially to be treated as a whole county with the Dorchester studio/offices properly & fully manned by staff living in Dorset, & importantly, managed by a senior member of staff based in
The outcome was that Andy Griffee, whilst still not making any concessions on Radio Dorset (he said it would have cost £2.5 million per annum to run after set up), committed to install a Managing Editor in
This is a breakthrough - it is a first to have a manager responsible for the editorial (all media: radio, TV, internet) for the whole county, and based in the County town! They also stated they were planning to launch a new service in Dorset called “BBC Local” which will mean five additional staff in
So they have given us something very important but, of course, we still press for local radio and local TV coverage OF THE COUNTY as a whole! We emphasised we don’t want bits of news of Dorset that are transmitted in one part of
It was said that BBC FreeSat is now scheduled for end April, 2008.
In the meantime, County Councillor Ron Coatsworth’s motion to the County Council deploring the BBC's decision to cancel Radio Dorset and strongly supporting DorBAG will be considered on 14th February! (see Dorset Echo item on this below.)
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