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BBC to Cut More Than 1,000 Jobs, Creates ‘Simpler, Leaner’ Structure

MUNICH — BBC director general Tony Hall has unveiled a restructuring program that will result in the loss of more than 1,000 jobs. The measures will deliver £50 million ($78 million) in savings from merging divisions, cutting down management layers, reducing the number of managers and improving processes.

“A simpler, leaner, BBC is the right thing to do, and it can also help us meet the financial challenges we face,” Hall said. “We’ve already significantly cut the costs of running the BBC, but in times of very tough choices we need to focus on what really matters — delivering outstanding programs and content for all our audiences.”

The BBC has already cut costs in recent years in order to deliver more than £1.5 billion ($2.34 billion) of savings a year by 2017. Much of this has been done through cutting administration and property costs, pay and headcount restraint, and decisions like more daytime repeats and shared sports rights.

The savings are necessary due to the government’s decision to freeze for seven years the license fee, which is the BBC’s primary source of funding. Also, as more people use video-on-demand services, the number of households owning television sets is falling, and so they don’t always buy a license. The license fee income in 2016-17 is forecast to be £150 million ($234 million) less than it was in 2011.

The restructuring measures announced Thursday include a reduction in the number of divisions; a reduction in the number of layers of the organization; a reduction in the number of management roles; and a simplification and standardization of procedures.

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