Hayley Valentine has been appointed as the Senior Head of Content Production for the BBC in the Midlands. She will be responsible for leading the BBC’s local services for radio, TV, and online across the West and East Midlands.
Currently, Hayley serves as the Head of the Radio Newsroom in London, overseeing bulletins and summaries on Radio 2, 3, 4, 6 Music, and the World Service. She also provides editorial oversight for The Newsroom on the World Service, The Global News Podcast – the BBC’s most successful international podcast, and The Happy Pod.
Prior to this role, Hayley held the position of Senior Head of Multi-Platform Production in BBC Scotland, where she also served as the launch editor of The Nine – the hour-long nightly news and current affairs programme on the Scotland Channel. She has also worked as an Executive Producer for Question Time.
Hayley Valentine says: “I am delighted to take on this role leading the BBC’s local teams in the Midlands. It’s such a vibrant, dynamic area, and my priority will be to reflect the stories and issues that matter most to audiences here. This is a pivotal time for the BBC in the region with us bringing more network programming to Birmingham. I can’t wait to get started.”
The BBC is undergoing a transformation of its local services in the Midlands and across England, with a focus on prioritizing local information in the online experience for audiences. This initiative includes expanding news coverage for 43 areas, including the launch of a dedicated online service for Wolverhampton in the near future.
As a result of delivering stories when the audience demands them, along with more frequent updates and increased visibility on the BBC News app, online traffic to BBC Local news stories in England has seen a 21% increase over the past three months compared to the same period last year.
The Midlands plays a significant role in the BBC’s Across the UK strategy, aimed at better representing and serving audiences by relocating shows, talent, teams, and content to the region. The BBC contributes over £305 million to the economic value of the West Midlands annually and continues to invest in the area.
In the past year alone, the BBC has transferred hundreds of additional hours of network radio programming to the city. This includes BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, Asian Network News, and three new 1Xtra shows, resulting in live broadcasts from Birmingham every weekday from 10am-4pm. The long-running hit drama series Silent Witness will also make its move to the West Midlands in the near future, and the MasterChef brand will shift production to new studios in Digbeth in 2024.
Hayley is set to assume her new role in January 2024.