Tuesday 24 April 2018

Smaller BBC will have fewer staff and more repeats as it struggles to cut costs

Most departments at the BBC will be forced to make cuts under plans to save money. Photo: Getty Images
Most departments at the BBC will be forced to make cuts under plans to save money. Photo: Getty Images

A PLAN unveiled today for a ''smaller'' BBC will see the corporation lose thousands of jobs, sell off offices and show more repeats.

The proposals include ''a small reduction'' in new programmes on BBC One, which will be replaced by repeats, fewer chat shows and panel shows on BBC Two and digital channels BBC Three and Four will become feeder channels for BBC One and Two respectively.

Around 2,000 jobs are expected to go by 2016 and around 1,000 more staff will move to the new BBC base at Media City in Salford.

There will be ''a phased but full exit for the BBC's public services from their current home in West London'' including its White City offices.

The plan is expected to lead to savings of £670 million a year by 2016/17.

Director General Mark Thompson said: ''It's a plan for a smaller BBC, but a BBC which uses its resources more effectively.''

The BBC HD channel will be closed and replaced with an HD version of BBC Two and all new daytime shows will be moved to BBC One with more repeats on Two.

There will also be less original programming on radio, with cuts to comedy on Radio 2 and Radio 5 Live and fewer lunchtime concerts on Radio 3.

Some radio stations will also share news bulletins.

The corporation is holding a series of meetings with its staff across the UK to reveal details of its Delivering Quality First initiative.

The BBC committed itself to saving billions of pounds from its budget after the annual licence fee was frozen at £145.50 for six years.

Today's report states that BBC bosses considered "the possibility of shutting one or more services entirely" but rejected the idea on value-for-money grounds.

It states: "The decision to share Formula One motor-racing rights with BSkyB, for example, will save the BBC more cash between now and the end of the Charter than we would have saved by shutting one of the smaller TV channels."

The sports rights budget will see a 15pc cut, which includes the decision to share Formula One rights.

The Asian Network radio station, which was previously threatened with closure, will lose a third of its "service licence budget reduction".

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