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Monday, 6 November, 2000, 07:59 GMT
BBC promises more business news

The BBC's director general, Greg Dyke, has acknowledged that many main stream news and current affairs programmes have "ignored or failed to understand the real business agenda", but promised large investments in BBC business coverage.

Speaking at the annual conference of the Confederation of British Industry in Birmingham, Mr Dyke said the BBC would push to improve its business news on radio, television and online.

He also announced the appointment of Jeff Randall as the BBC's new Business Editor. Mr Randall is currently the editor of the Sunday Business newspaper and is a former business editor of the Sunday Times.

Mr Dyke said the BBC would

  • significantly expand business coverage on BBC News Online - the editorial team will be doubled in size
  • develop an evening business programme on BBC News 24 and expand at least one of the daytime slots on the 24 hour television news channel
  • double the length of BBC 2's Working Lunch programme to one hour, as a trial
  • add a specialist business reporter to the Newsnight team on BBC 2, and
  • create two new brands, BBC Business and BBC Money.

Mr Dyke said the lack of business coverage was "not a BBC problem alone", but he said "as the country's foremost provider of news and current affairs the onus must lie with us to improve the position".

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