BBC management to be reduced by 18%

Plans to cut more than 100 senior management positions

LONDON -- The BBC is swinging the axe again with plans to slash more than 100 of its senior management positions over the coming three-and-a-half years.

The U.K. broadcasting giant said 18% of the 640-plus senior and exec director posts will go and anyone hired in can expect a smaller salary than those offered by players in the commercial sector.

The pubcaster has also frozen pay for the next three years for all executive directors and is suspending bonuses indefinitely.

The cuts were announced Thursday by the BBC Trust on the back of proposals delivered by the BBC Executive to trim its pay bill and reduce costs by a quarter in the coming years.

BBC Trust chairman Michael Lyons said: "[BBC director general] Mark Thompson and his team have responded with a comprehensive set of proposals that strike the right balance between ensuring the BBC can attract the best people to do the job, while ensuring maximum value for the license fee payer."

Lyons also noted that he was fully aware such cuts would have "implications both for current and future BBC employees."

Said Lyons: "However, it is right that as a major public service organization, the BBC shows leadership on this issue during difficult economic times."

Thompson added: "The review published today demonstrates that the BBC is already achieving a significant discount against peer group organizations in its remuneration of senior managers."

He said everyone realizes the economic climate is tough and "that the media sector labor markets are depressed and that there are significant pressures on public finances."

The new remuneration policy will also include a review of the need for every senior post that becomes vacant and a renewed strategy for growing talent within the BBC, "reducing the percentage of external hires."