(Not) To Salford

Published on 14 January 2009 in , , , , , ,

It was back in 2004 that the BBC first announced its plans to move some departments to the North, thus reducing jobs and money spent in London.

It’s well known that part of the move, Sport, Childrens, Five Live and a slice of New Media would move from London.

What that slice of New Media would be wasn’t known until 2007 when I found out my job was going along with the web and mobile teams. Then Ashley Highfield left the BBC and his replacement, Erik Huggers, did a bit of a review aorund the plans and everything was up in the air again.

Well yesterday we were told “for definite” what was going on. And yes, my job is still going to Salford. Under the revised plans, the TV Platforms team is the only part of the Future Media and Technology department which is moving up wholesale – other people moving will be segments of teams. The central web and mobile teams will remain in London.

And so it comes to pass that 105 people in my team now have a decision to make – and a deadline to make it. End of April for senior managers. End of June for “grades 8-11” (which includes me). End of September for everyone else.

For those wanting to go – a host of new oppertunities, new ways of working, and quite probably, a hoard of new colleagues to meet and train. For those not wanting, it’s redeployment, or possible redundancy.

Whilst I was saying back in 2004 that never say never, I can’t say I’ve ever been in a particular rush to head back north. And now a few years on, not much has changed.

And for me, a significant factor is on timing. It’s now been five and a half years since I joined what was then the Interactive TV team. That’s a long time. Perhaps too long.

Even if I did want to go north, by the time the move would happen (roughly Summer 2011) I’d have been there for eight years. And then, when you go up, you pretty much commit to staying in the North with the BBC, else you need to start repaying relocation costs.

Ten years in the same department doing the same job? Nah. Bit too long for my liking.

There’s other factors behind my decision too but ultimately for me, much says no, and little says yes.

So what next? Well there’s a question and a half. Who knows? What I do know is it’s time to keep a closer eye on the old BBC Jobs website.

And if you know of someone who needs an experienced producer/product manager who can do all manner of things from heavy feeds migration projects, to editorially driven Children’s services, and who has done all sorts of stuff in the past with social media, personalisation, search and more, and is completely and utterly adgiled up, well… you know…

1 Comment

  • cping500 says:

    First someone should go and renegotiate the location costs deal a people need to ask do they need them. After all the employer wants you to move. Take some legal advice on your household insurance at least. That said on the positive side its an opportunity for everyone to re evaluate there careers and lives with their nearest and dearest. Of course if you do decide on a new direction then you will most likely get one by networking… but stay in charge..If you want to be a consultant then get some customers and ensure you take a course or mentoring to make sure you can run the business. Of course check if you have any intellectual property that belongs to you.
    That’s the content of a career change interview if we met it the pub.