BR follows in the tracks (geddit?) of the BBC

Last week, I described the new multimedia newsroom of the BBC. But the BBC is not alone in Europe merging TV, radio and online. Bavarian Broadcaster “Bayerischer Rundfunk” is following suit. (This article by Nadja Hahn, EBU Research Fellow)

It’s the biggest reform ever at Bayerischer Rundfunk “BR”, the Bavarian arm of the German public broadcaster ARD with roughly 4,500 people working for them.


BR television and radio currently work in two different buildings, but this will change. The two buildings will remain, but they will be suited to accommodate merged TV, radio and online teams says BR boss Ulrich Wilhelm:

“The Internet is changing media consumption to an unmistakable extent. Changing BR to reflect this is “a duty for our future.”

BR will no longer define itself as a broadcaster for TV and radio, but as a provider of quality audio and video content which will increasingly be shared on Internet.  BR also wants to produce more short video formats, suitable for online.

But what BR doesn’t make clear is how far this means a commitment to a real engagement with social media which isn’t actually mentioned in their press release.

Building a big new online department would have been too expensive for BR, which is why BR decided to change the internal structure to incorporate the Internet.

The new organisational structure of BR will be determined by content, not by the type of media.  Content will be developed in close cooperation to avoid several BR teams showing up at one event at the same time.

The change doesn’t mean however, that popular programmes on TV and radio will disappear, they will be produced differently. Bayerischer Rundfunk also says there will be not redundancies but and says the changeover will take eight to ten years.

This report by Nadja Hahn, Polis/EBU Visiting Research Fellow