BBC plans to cut 2,000 jobs
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The BBC announced Thursday that 2,000 jobs, including 300 senior management staff, will be axed as part of the company’s aim to cut the annual budget by more than $1 billion in the next six years.
Director General Mark Thompson unveiled details of a program titled Delivering Quality First announced this year that aims to cut 20% off the corporation’s budget by April 2017.
No services would be cancelled but there would be more repeats on some TV stations, a reduction in broadcasting rights to sports events and fewer entertainment programs outside of Saturday night favorites, the plans revealed.
The BBC said that TV and radio flagship stations such as BBC 1 and Radio 4 would be the least affected and the news budget would be largely protected.
Summing up the new budget, Thompson told a BBC interviewer that “we need to come up with BBC which is smaller … but really focused on giving the public the things they want most, above all quality and creativity.”
The job cuts would come over the next six years, he said. Some savings would be reinvested in other areas such as dramas and new services such as BBC iPlayer to make it relevant “in this very different world of iPhones and iPads.”
But the media and entertainment union BECTU slammed the budget plans in a news release warning the proposals should be overhauled if the BBC wanted to achieve its aim.
‘The shocking eleventh-hour deal on the license fee which Mark Thompson agreed with the Treasury last October without any consultation at all, was hasty and will be the cause of regret for years to come,’ said BECTU General Secretary Gerry Morrissey. “The proposed salami-slicing cuts to services will destroy quality, destroy jobs and ultimately destroy the BBC.”