UK Round-Up: BBC Newsroom Integration; Messy Media Starts

BBC: BBC News’ HQ is to open an integrated newsroom, bringing online staff together with those from TV and radio. BBC TV news boss will lead integration, which will come along with a five percent, five-year news budget cut due to the lower-than-hoped-for license fee settlement, The Guardian reports. It will be the first time online staff have worked alongside broadcast counterparts in White City, London, echoing integration moves embarked upon by many newspapers, notably The Telegraph. Guardian: “It is understood the changes at BBC News are being seen by executives as a way of better competing against the online threat posed by newspaper groups, as well as fulfilling the corporation’s public purposes and meeting cost cutting targets.”
Messy Media: The blog publishing start-up formed by two former Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Europe senior staff has started its first such site. Ad-supported Westmonster (why did no-one think of that before?), launched to coincide with the party conference season, is a political blog in the typically “irreverent” Wonkette style and launches in to probably the most fertile sector of the British blog-journalism field. But former Yahoo Europe director of news Lloyd Shepherd and former senior commerce producer Andrew Levy reckon existing blogs like Guido Fawkes and Iain Dale’s Diary are too partial. Their start-up Messy Media is aiming to replicate the efforts of Shiny Media, the other British blog publishing network, which has over 40 blogs. Shepherd is a former deputy director of online publishing at The Guardian.