BBC set to announce cuts to 250 roles in News division

David Prior's picture
by David Prior

The BBC is today expected to announce more than 250 redundancies in its News division.

Fran Unsworth, Head of News, has called an all-staff meeting to explain the cuts, with affected programmes set to include the flagship Six and Ten O’Clock bulletins on BBC One and Radio 4 programmes including World At One, PM, The World Tonight and Today.

All the programmes are produced in London, where the news division is based.

There are plans to centralise news reporting at the broadcaster, with producers and broadcasters working across multiple programmes and platforms. Currently, around 3,200 people work on the BBC's news and current affairs output.

Yesterday, production staff working on non-news and sport programmes on national radio were told they face about 60 redundancies.

“Rising costs mean we shall end this year with a deficit of around a million pounds,” said Graham Ellis, the BBC’s controller of radio production.

He added that he wanted to create 40 new roles for content producers, with an increased focus on social media output.

“This is a tough message on which to start 2020 but I’m pleased to say we are also seeing reinvestment in some programmes from next year, especially documentaries and drama,” he said.

“That’ll mean better programme budgets which help to protect staff time on programmes. We’re also investing in a development unit to capitalise on the popularity of podcasts which offer us an opportunity to grow new business.”

The BBC has so far declined to comment on reports that 250 roles are to be cut.

It's been a busy start to 2020 for the broadcaster, with Lord Hall announcing last week that he will be stepping down later this year.

It was also announced that award-winning BBC Two series The Victoria Derbyshire Show is to be axed.