BBC to cut up to 2,000 jobs and is looking at channels and programs in a bid to save money

The BBC is set to cut up to 2,000 jobs as part of changes aimed at making savings of around 20%, according to sources.

The corporation will today hold a series of meetings with its staff across the UK when it will reveal details of its Delivering Quality First initiative.

Director General Mark Thompson will unveil details of the cuts, with industry sources indicating it is likely that around 2,000 jobs will be lost.

Mr Thompson and the chairman of the BBC Trust Lord Patten will speak to staff for around an hour at 10am.

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.

In an internal message sent to staff earlier this week, Mr Thompson said thousands of them had made comments and proposals over the past nine months as part of the process.

He said: “You brought us new ideas, caused us to adapt or drop some of our own early ideas, and helped us shape the final set of proposals which we’ve been discussing with the BBC Trust in recent weeks.”

It has been reported the corporation is considering selling off its White City building in west London as it bids to cope with its new financial reality. Football clubs Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers are thought to have expressed an interest in the site.

The BBC’s best-known west London home, Television Centre, is already up for sale.

There has also been speculation that a number of original BBC2 daytime television shows could be scrapped and replaced by repeats to ease financial pressure, as well as cuts to local radio and Saturday night entertainment shows.

Earlier this year, Mr Thompson refused to rule out closing channels to save money but insisted there was “a smarter way of making savings”.

In an email to staff, he said: “We haven’t ruled out service closures yet but the work so far suggests there’s a smarter way of making savings without taking entire services away from the public. Why? Because every single service is strongly valued by its audience.”

It has also been reported that highbrow arts channel BBC Four could be a target for cuts and could merge some of its operations with its digital sister channel BBC Three.

Mr Thompson has described job losses as “inevitable” but added they would be “lower than some of the wild numbers I’ve seen in the press”.

The BBC has committed to reducing the pay bill of senior managers by 25% and the number of senior managers by 20%, and Mr Thompson has admitted it might lose some of its top stars as pay is cut for on-screen talent.

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About elaineonyc

HR generalist who is passionate about the benefits of good HR practice. Experienced in delivering strategic and operational HR initiatives to clients in both public and private sectors. Specialises in working with SMEs.
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