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BBC Studios announces unscripted merger

BBC Studios is to merge its entertainment, music, factual entertainment and events production divisions to create a giant new unscripted division.

Around 10 roles, or approximately four per cent, will be lost as a result of the restructure, mostly in senior positions at the four merged sections.

Currently, Hannah Wyatt leads Factual Entertainment Productions and Events Productions as managing director, while Entertainment Productions and Music Productions’ MD is Suzy Lamb. Both joined the BBC in 2017, as genre directors within their respective fields.

The reshaped version of unscripted will house around 220 staff and produce titles such as Strictly Come Dancing, Eurovision, The Weakest Link and Dragons’ Den.

The consultation over redundancies is likely to be completed in the next couple of weeks, Broadcast understands. It is thought that the new unscripted business will introduce a new development team model. Its structure is currently being worked through in consultation.

The 10 positions that are set to be cut equate to around 4% of the divisions’ total workforce.

A BBCS spokesperson said: “Whilst the demand for recognised formats continues, the market is looking for big-hitting shows that can translate globally.

“Our proposed new UK unscripted model allows for a more streamlined business and focused pipeline to take shows from development to production to international format sales with owned IP more efficiently.

“Unfortunately, the move could see a number of permanent roles close within the unit and colleagues impacted are currently in a period of consultation.”

Following last year’s restructure of the domestic and international formats operations to create the global entertainment division, Lamb and Wyatt both stepped into the MD roles within their respective genres.

In March, BBC Studios proposed a cut of 7% in the Natural History Unit amid a slowdown in natural history commissioning, and 15% of roles in the Kids division due to a shift towards lower volume, higher impact shows.

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