BBC Radio 1 Producers Following Zane Lowe to Apple

Noah Berger/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Apple Inc.'s headquarters stands in Cupertino, California, U.S., on Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011.  

The British radio network loses at least three staffers to the tech giant.

When Apple’s new music streaming service launches later this year, Zane Lowe will not be the only ex-BBC employee among its staff.

Joining the former DJ and host at the tech giant’s Cupertino base will be his former BBC Radio 1 producer James Bursey, while at least two other, less senior Radio 1 production staff, have also jumped ship to take up positions at Apple’s London office.

The appointments have not been confirmed or denied by the BBC, but Billboard has learned that a small number of Radio 1 producers, among them Natasha Lynch and Kieran Yeates, have either already exited the broadcaster or will do so at the end of the month to join Apple.

“Radio 1 is respected worldwide for making great programmes and is vital to the record industry for choosing the best new music and artists. We are proud to have a proven record of discovering and developing staff that are seen as the best in the business,” said the BBC in a statement. Apple did not respond to requests for comment.

Given Bursey’s close ties to long-time Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe -- who announced he was leaving the BBC to join Apple in February -- his decision to follow Lowe to LA should come as no surprise.

The departure of two additional BBC Radio 1 producers, from a staff of approximately 80, to join Apple may initially appear like the first stages of a mass exodus, but truth be told, it is part and parcel of the always-changing media landscape.

As a public-funded broadcaster, the BBC famously pays lower wages than many of its commercial rivals and has historically experienced a regular churn of staff. The organization is also currently undergoing a series of funding cuts resulting in the loss of 2,000 jobs (across all divisions) by 2017.

Within that context, the migration of a several BBC staff is not that exceptional. The only difference this time around is that it’s not a rival broadcaster doing the poaching, but a tech company. It's a clear sign of the shifting balance of power. 


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