BBC News to Slash 75 Jobs Amid Continuing Budget Cut

James Harding
James Harding
 

LONDON – The BBC will cut 75 positions in its news division amid continuing cost reduction efforts.

Recently appointed BBC News director James Harding, a former editor of Rupert Murdoch's Times of London, announced the planned layoffs on Thursday. He told staff at the U.K. public broadcaster in a memo that the move would "add to uncertainty after what has been a trying year."

"I also appreciate the concern that cost savings come at a time that so many people are working hard to make the most of new technologies and striving to deliver the best journalism in the world," the paper quoted Harding as saying in the memo. "The reality is that we have to live within the terms of the license fee settlement, requiring us to deliver more for less."

The news cuts are part of an initiative announced in 2011 to reduce costs by $1.12 billion (£700 million) across the BBC and shrink the BBC News staff by 600 by fiscal year 2016-2017.

The British broadcasting unions have opposed the continuing BBC job cuts since 2011.

"BBC News provides outstanding value for money to license fee payers," Harding said in his memo. "I also believe that the public measures the value of what we do not simply in financial terms, but in the quality of our work."

Concluded the BBC News boss: "I hope you share my pride in what we put on screen and on air and, based on the quality of our output, my confidence that BBC News will continue to command the trust and respect of our audiences."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

 

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