- BBC English Regions
Infobox BBC Nation or Region
name = BBC English Regions
The Mailbox, Birmingham
BBC North East and Cumbria BBC North West BBC Yorkshire BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshire BBC East Midlands BBC West Midlands BBC East BBC West BBC South BBC London BBC South East BBC South West
tvtransmitters = Terrestrial, cable and
BBC UK regional TV on satellite.
BBC Local Radio
(Director, Nations and Regions)
(Controller, English Regions)
website = [http://www.bbc.co.uk/england http://www.bbc.co.uk/england]
BBC English Regions is the division of the
BBCresponsible for local television, radio, web and teletextservices in England. It is one of the BBC's four 'Nations' - the others being BBC Scotland, BBC Walesand BBC Northern Ireland. [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/keyfacts/stories/nationsregions.shtml|title=BBC - Press Office - BBC Nations & Regions|accessdate=2007-04-20]
The division is made up of 12 separate regions. Many of the names of these regions are similar to those of the official government
Regions of England, but the areas covered are often significantly different as they are determined by analogue transmission areas, not administrative boundaries. [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/tv/local/engreg.shtml|title=BBC - Commissioning - BBC English Regions|accessdate=2007-04-20]
The headquarters of BBC English Regions is at
The Mailboxin Birmingham, with regional television centres in Newcastle upon Tyne, Leeds, Hull, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Bristol, London, Tunbridge Wells, Southamptonand Plymouth, and local radio stations based at 43 locations across England. [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/category/english_regions_index.shtml|title=BBC - Press Office - English Regions|accessdate=2007-04-20]
Overall the division produces over 70% of the BBC's domestic television and radio output hours, for about 7% of the licence fee. [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/about.shtml|title=BBC - England - About English Regions|accessdate=2007-04-13]
In October 2008 it was announced that "BBC English Regions, which runs the BBC's local radio, regional television and online services across England, will be aligned with the BBC News division for the first time from April 2009, in a move to maximise co-operation in the BBC's news operations." [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2008/10_october/07/forums.shtml|title=BBC - Press Office - BBC promotes role of national and regional broadcasting in leadership restructuring|accessdate=2008-10-10]
The current BBC English Regions division was the product of the controversial "Broadcasting in the Seventies" report - a radical review of the BBC's network radio and non-metropolitan broadcasting structure - published on 10 July 1969. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/heritage/more/pdfs/1960s.pdf BBC Heritage 1960s page 6] BBC]
Before this the structure of regional broadcasting in England had remained virtually unchanged since the late 1920s, when the establishment of 4 regional radio transmission stations covering England had led to a regional structure on similar lines.
BBC Northwas based in Manchesterand covered the area from Cheshireand Sheffieldnorthwards, BBC Midlandswas based in Birminghamcovering a swathe of central England from the Potteriesto Norfolk, and BBC Westwas based in Bristolcovering the area south and west of a line from Gloucesterto Brighton. The Londonarea, though it had regional transmission infrastructure of its own, produced only national programming and wasn't considered to be a region as it acted as the sustaining service for the other regions.
These regions (alongside the national regions
BBC Scotland, BBC Walesand BBC Northern Irelandthat performed a similar role outside England) were well-suited to delivering the pre-war BBC Regional Programmeand the post-war BBC Home Servicethat replaced it. By the 1960s, though, the growth of television, the birth of the more locally-based ITVfranchises in 1955 and the development of smaller BBC Local Radiostations (made possible by the development of FM radio) were making the structure look increasingly anachronistic.
"Broadcasting in the Seventies"
The effect of "Broadcasting in the Seventies" was to separate the two different roles of regional BBC offices into different organisations: [cite book
last = British Broadcasting Corporation
authorlink = BBC
title = Broadcasting in the Seventies
year = 1969
isbn = 0563085622 ]
*The two major television channels BBC1 and BBC2 were to remain primarily national operations. To prevent this leading to total domination by
London, three large "Network Production Centres" (NPC), each one having its own medium-size colour tv studio - BBC Bristol, BBC Birminghamand BBC Manchester- were established in the headquarters of the former regions, to produce programming for national broadcast across the entire United Kingdom. [cite web|url=http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldbbc/128/5112219.htm|title=House of Lords - BBC Charter Review - Minutes of Evidence|accessdate=2007-04-13]
Each of the above production centres also had network radio studios (
BBC Birmingham, for instance, producing " The Archers") plus a small television news studio, the latter to enable local ( opt out) programming.
*BBC English Regions was created to take on this other role of the former regions - the production of specifically local programming (mainly from small "island sites") - through a new tier of eight much smaller regions described on page eight of the report as "the basic unit of English broadcasting outside
London" and controlled from headquarters in the newly built Pebble Mill studiosin Birmingham. [cite web|url=http://www.bectubbc.org.uk/news/1999/19990507.html|title= bectubbc.org.uk news - The future of Pebble Mill |accessdate=2007-04-20]
As a result of the latter,
Plymouth-based BBC South Westand Southampton-based BBC Southwere split from BBC Westin Bristol; Norwich-based BBC Eastseparated from BBC Midlandsin Birmingham; a new smaller BBC North Westwas created from the existing Manchester-based region, with the old BBC Northname being taken by the newly created region based in Leeds; [cite web | title=BBC website: "Where I live" | url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/bradford/features/look_north_anniv.shtml] and the existing Newcastle-based BBC North East separated from the old BBC North Region in this process.
Londonand the surrounding area was finally recognised as a region with the creation of BBC South Eastalthough it wasn't to get a dedicated regional programme of its own until 1982. [cite web|url=http://www.tvradiobits.co.uk/news/southeast.htm|title=TV & Radio Bits - BBC South East - History|accessdate=2007-06-22]
These new regions produced local news programmes and opt-outs on television, but regional radio programming on the
BBC Home Serviceceased, replaced by the national Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3 and Radio 4 and the growing number of local radio stations. [cite web|url=http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/freq_find/trans_hist2.html|title=Frequency Finder UK - History of radio transmission|accessdate=2007-04-13] The report stated that the local radio experiment, started in 1967 "has proved that there is a demand for local radio" and that the BBC should "put forward to the Postmaster General a provisional scheme for expanding our local network to about forty stations".
This structure has largely survived to the current day. Local news services were developed on
Ceefaxfrom 1997 and were extended on onto the web in 1999. The decreasing costs of television production and improving technology also enabled the gradual development of even smaller regions. In 1991 BBC East Midlandswas finally ["Broadcasting in the Seventies" was a document concerned mainly with radio reorganisation and funding - having only one and one half pages devoted to television and the regions (on pages 7 & 8) - where it had stated, back in 1969, that "in the longer term, as money permits, we would hope to set up further centres, with the one in the East Midlands as a first priority".] created in Nottingham, [cite web|url=http://www.tvradiobits.co.uk/keydates/dates3a.htm|title=TV & Radio Bits - Key Dates|accessdate=2007-04-20] BBC London(separated from BBC South East) also became a region in 2001 [cite web|url=http://www.tvradiobits.co.uk/keydates/dates4.htm|title=TV & Radio Bits - Key Dates|accessdate=2007-04-20] and BBC Northwas split into BBC Yorkshireand BBC Yorkshire and Lincolnshirein 2004 [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/buildings/new_dev/other.shtml|title=BBC - BBC buildings|accessdate=2007-04-20] - with the new millennium seeing several BBC regions moving into new premises.
BBC English Regions
BBC North East and Cumbria
BBC North West
BBC East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire
BBC East Midlands
BBC West Midlands
BBC South East
BBC South West
* Home Service - Regions
Audience Council England
*cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/england|title=BBC - England - Homepage|accessdate=2007-04-20
*cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/radindex.shtml|title=BBC - England - English Regions Local Radio|accessdate=2007-04-20
*cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/about.shtml|title=BBC - England - About English Regions|accessdate=2007-04-20
*cite web|url=http://www.transdiffusion.org/emc/aspidistra/what_goes_aroun.php|title="What goes around comes around" by David Brockman - EMC Aspidistra|accessdate=2007-04-20
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/england/annualreview/pdf/english_regions_annual_review_06.pdf BBC English Regions Annual Review 2005-2006 (pdf)] BBC
*cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/info/buildings/buildings/index.shtml|title=BBC - BBC buildings|accessdate=2007-04-20
*cite web|url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2008/oct/07/bbc.television|title=BBC to cut nations and regions division|accessdate=2008-10-07
last = Briggs
first = Asa
authorlink = Asa Briggs
title = The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom (Volumes I-V)
publisher = Oxford University Press
date = 1961-1995
last = British Broadcasting Corporation
authorlink = British Broadcasting Corporation
title = Broadcasting in the Seventies: The B.B.C.'s plan for network radio and non-metropolitan broadcasting
publisher = BBC
year = 1969
pages = 14pp
id = ISBN 0563085622
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