BBC to cut hundreds of 'devastated' staff from news programmes

The BBC will slash around 450 jobs from its News division in a bid to save £80 million in the next two years.
Victoria Derbyshire's flagship news show has been cut from the schedule. Picture: PAVictoria Derbyshire's flagship news show has been cut from the schedule. Picture: PA
Victoria Derbyshire's flagship news show has been cut from the schedule. Picture: PA

The spending cuts will mean a reduction in the number of films produced by Newsnight leading to job losses on the BBC Two programme.

There will also be job closures at BBC Raio 5 Live and the World Update programme on the World Service.

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BBC director of News, Fran Unsworth, said: "This organisation has to face up to the changing way that audiences are using us. We have to adapt. We need to create a modern newsroom that is built for the future and not for the past."

It has been reported that Ms Unsworth believes the BBC is covering too many 'story topics' each day.

Pressure on BBC coffers

BBC News has to save £80 million as part of financial pressures on the corporation, including paying for free TV licences for over-75s on pension credit.

The cuts also come amid payouts to some female staff, with radio presenter Sarah Montague getting a £400,000 settlement and Samira Ahmed winning an employment tribunal in a dispute over equal pay.

They are being announced as the corporation starts the search for a new director-general with Lord Tony Hall announcing he will step down from the role in the summer.

No easy decisions

Speaking at the Edelman Trust Barometer 2020 event on Tuesday, Lord Hall said: "We've got to look at our part in the nature of political discourse.

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"I'm a great believer in the long form political interview where you can explore at length, not in soundbites, the real policy decisions that politicians are making."

BBC director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth told staff the move to end Derbyshire's daily BBC Two current affairs programme had "not been an easy decision".

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Derbyshire, 51, said she first found out about the plans in a newspaper.

She said her Bafta-winning show had delivered on its remit, breaking original stories and "attracting a working class, young, diverse audience".

Confirming the decision, Ms Unsworth said: "Linear television viewing is declining, and as we progress with our £80 million savings target, it is no longer cost-effective to continue producing the programme on television."

A petition to save the programme has reached more than 30,000 signatures.