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.