Broadcasting

James Purnell, the ex-Labour culture secretary and former MP for Stalybridge and Hyde has been named as director of strategy and digital at the BBC.
It marks a return to the corporation for Purnell who was head of corporate planning in the 1990s. His new remit includes running the strategy, digital, communications, policy, public affairs, marketing and audience divisions.

The US public service broadcaster, PBS, is to hold two briefing sessions in the UK, as it seeks to meet UK indies and producers, in an attempt to raise the level of content it commissions from the UK.

First Radio Sales, the sales house jointly owned by the media companies UTV Media and UKRD, has restructured its regional operations with some job losses and responsibilities moving to London.

Screen Yorkshire is calling on TV and film producers to bid for a slice of its latest £3.5million investment windfall. The Leeds-based organisation is looking to invest in "up to 10 high-end TV or film projects", with between £100,000 and £500,000 available for each.

Hospital Radio Burnley will cease broadcasting after 60 years - because there are not enough patients left in the hospital it serves. The station, based at Burnley General Hospital, has handed all its equipment over to nearby Radio Hospitals Blackburn.

The BBC has spent almost £2million on rail, air and taxi travel between London and its new MediaCityUK headquarters, according to figures released under Freedom of Information. The figures, which relate to last year and were obtained by The Telegraph, detail some of the extra transport costs that have been created by the move to Salford.

Ofcom has confirmed that YourTV Manchester will run the local television station for Manchester. The licence is awarded for a period of up to 12 years and Ofcom hopes that some channels will be on air before the end of the year.

Manchester-based indie, Urban Canyons, has moved into post production on its latest history documentary.

Samurai Head-Hunters will form part of the channel’s Untold History strand of ancient warrior drama documentaries and has been co-financed by the Smithsonian Channel, ZDF / Arte, UKTV and ZDF Enterprises, with additional funding from the European media fund.

The controller of BBC Three has announced that In The Flesh will be part of the channels’ spring schedule. The zombie drama was filmed on location in the North West of England and has been written by Dominic Mitchell.

The nominations for the IRN News Awards 2013 have been announced today.

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