THE Scottish Daily Mail has accused BBC Scotland of spending £40,000 to relocate its head of radio from Glasgow to Inverness and “now spending thousands of pounds of licence payers’ money” to enable him to commute to the Central Belt.
According to the newspaper, under documents released under Freedom of Information legislation, Jeff Zycinski, head of BBC Radio Scotland, incurred £6,000 hotel, rail and taxi bills for his stays in Glasgow last year.
He moved to Inverness three years ago and the documents reveal that it cost the BBC £40,282 to relocate him and his family. This included the cost of temporary accommodation and legal fees.
The move was part of a strategy to disperse management outside the broadcaster’s main Glasgow base.
Yesterday’s Scottish Daily Mail quotes Scottish MSP and Tory culture spokesperson, Ted Brocklebank, a former head of news and current affairs at Grampian TV, saying: “All of us want the BBC to make sure that the regions of Scotland are represented, but it beggars belief that if the management and control of the BBC is based in Glasgow then you would make an exception for one senior manager to move hundreds of miles away.
“The BBC has to answer questions on whether this is the right way to spend licence payers’ money – particularly when it is cutting back on jobs.”
A spokesperson for BBC Scotland is quoted in the Scottish Daily Mail, saying: “Radio Scotland is a national station and its head is required to travel to various locations, including Glasgow, for production and management meetings.
“It is beneficial to have this kind of decision-maker based outside of Glasgow and in a significant production base, but one which does not disadvantage him when it comes to his staff.”