Channel 4 is set to contract out to Red Bee Media a range of broadcast and production services currently being carried out in-house by its Channel Operations and 124 Facilities divisions. The proposal, which is subject to contract completion as well as consultation with staff over terms and conditions of employment, affects more than 100 staff and encompasses the channel's broadcast engineering and transmission teams, as well as post production, library services and on-air graphics, writes Fergal Ringrose.
Staff working in the affected areas are expected to transfer from Channel 4's Victoria headquarters to Red Bee Media's Broadcast Centre in White City over a 12 month period from the second quarter next year, with the exception of those working in post production and on-air graphics who will remain based at Horseferry Road but be in Red Bee Media's employment.
Red Bee Media has been selected as Channel 4's preferred partner after a competitive tender. Outsourcing these functions is expected to deliver annual savings in the region of 10%-15% on the channel's current Channel Operations budget. Under the terms of the new contract, Red Bee Media will make a significant capital investment in new state-of-the-art facilities in White City.
Red Bee Media's CEO, Pam Masters, said: "I am delighted in Channel 4's decision to outsource their playout and production services to us, and we welcome the staff that will be transferring to Red Bee Media from Channel 4. Having been part of the original Channel 4 team and instrumental in setting it up 25 years ago, winning this contract is very close to my heart. We have developed a flexible solution for Channel 4 that will enable them to take advantage of the latest technology and innovation in media management and delivery while enabling them to save money to put back into programming."