The BBC is to appoint a director of BBC North by the end of the year, to spearhead its controversial move to Salford Quays.

It has also named Andy Griffee, currently controller of BBC English Regions, as editorial director of Project W1, responsible for moving BBC News and BBC Global News to a single site.

Whoever takes the Salford job will be the “editorial leader” of the new mediacity: uk centre outside Manchester, working across the children's and sports divisions, as well as Future Media and Technology and Radio Five Live which are all planned to move there by 2012.

The post will be advertised shortly and the successful candidate will join the BBC Direction Group. Initially they will report into chief operating officer Caroline Thomson, but will transfer to deputy director general Mark Byford once BBC North is fully operational.

Director general Mark Thompson, who is today briefing management staff who will be affected by the Salford move, said: “The appointment of a director of BBC North is the latest signal of how advanced our plans are to produce more than half of our content outside of London by 2016.

“Salford will be a world class broadcasting centre and one of the most exciting places to work in the British broadcasting industry.”

“2012 is a big year for Britain and for the BBC - the Olympic Games, the completion of the BBC's presence in Salford, and the opening of BBC Broadcasting House are historic projects which will yield huge benefits to licence payers. These appointments are major milestones as we get ready for such an important year.”

A spokesman said it was too early to go into detail on how much influence the director of BBC North will have over the structure of the Salford organisation.

“We do want Salford to be very different [to the rest of the BBC] but at the same time it is part of a large organisation and people move around so there has to be some consistency,” he said.

Meanwhile, Griffee will oversee the move of BBC News and the BBC Global News division - which includes both the BBC World Service and BBC World News - to the BBC Audio & Music building in central London.


As part of the role he will be responsible for introducing new production technology and new ways of working across the departments.

Thompson paid tribute to Griffee, saying his “outstanding management skills and extensive editorial experience” made him right for the W1 job, which he takes up with immediate effect.

Griffee said: "It's going to be a fantastic place to work which I believe should inspire us to new levels of innovation and collaboration for the benefit of all our audiences.”