NEWS13 October 2010

BBC axes marketing and audiences as standalone division

People UK

UK— The BBC has axed marketing, communications and audiences (MC&A) as a standalone division, costing the job of former Microsoft executive Sharon Baylay.

Baylay (pictured) joined the corporation in May 2009 to oversee its audience research, marketing, communications and audience services. She was previously general manager of Microsoft Online Services UK.

Her role at the broadcaster and her seat on the executive board have been scrapped as part of efforts by director-general Mark Thompson to cut management overheads.

In a lecture earlier this year Thompson promised “simpler structures, fewer layers, fewer management boards”. He said: “We will look for reductions at every level in the organisation, up to and including the executive board.”

The BBC said today both the MC&A and human resources divisions will now be part of an expanded operations group led by chief operating officer Caroline Thomson. “This will enable the BBC to realise further efficiency savings in support and management costs,” the corporation said.

Update: In a staff email, via The Guardian, Thompson said: “Caroline and I will […] make certain that human resources and all the different vital roles and skills represented within MC&A continue to get the support they need to succeed within operations…

“Finally, I would like to thank Sharon Baylay for the valuable contribution she has made. She has been a very supportive colleague on the executive board and a strong advocate for public service broadcasting. In particular, her leadership of all of the workstreams within the marketing review will prove invaluable as we take the disciplines of marketing, communications and audiences on to the next stage in the BBC.”