BBC Staff Mocked Manager With Laugh Emojis As He Unveiled Dreadful Employee Survey Results

EXCLUSIVE: BBC staff mocked a senior manager with laugh emojis during a virtiual meeting today in which he revealed the results of his division’s employee survey.

Jason Horton, the Director of Production for BBC Local, was bombarded with the “tears of joy” emoji by disgruntled employees, who are currently taking industrial action over content changes and job cuts.

The staff survey, seen by Deadline, showed that only 13% of 1,480 BBC Local employees had confidence in the BBC’s executive team and its vision for the broadcaster.

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Just 37% of employees said they would recommend the BBC as a great place to work, while 65% were unsure whether they wanted to continue working for the corporation in two years’ time.

Some 60% of those polled did not agree when asked if they understood why the BBC was changing its local output by switching resources from traditional broadcasting to digital.

Below is an example of one slide shown on the call, with emojis drifting up the right hand side of the screen as they were posted by employees mocking the results.

Here’s a second slide in which only 35% of staff agreed with the sentiment that working at the BBC is “good for my general wellbeing.”

One person familiar with the results said they were “dreadful” for BBC managers and that the meeting, in which emojis flooded the screen, was “nuts.”

Nicky Horne, a British radio DJ who has been campaigning against BBC local radio changes, posted a video of the virtual call. His efforts have garnered the support of Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.

BBC local journalists will stage a 48-hour strike on June 7 over local radio cuts after talks with management this month failed to reach a resolution.

Paul Siegert, the National Union of Journalists’ Broadcasting Organiser, said: “Many of our members who have had to reapply for their jobs and face redundancy have had a very bruising and upsetting time. They feel this has been very badly managed by senior managers. This fight is about the heart of the BBC’s public service remit.”

The BBC has been approached for comment.

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