U.K. public service broadcaster the BBC will cut 450 jobs across English regional TV news, local radio and online news.
The cuts could save £25 million ($31.2 million) by 2022. In June, the BBC had offered some staff – those working in roles related to its “public service” commitments – the option of taking voluntary redundancy.
A BBC spokesperson told Variety at the time that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic meant the BBC needed to make £125 million ($141 million) of savings this financial year. A third of the corporation’s costs are from human resources.
The corporation had previously announced 450 redundancies that were subsequently put on hold. This fresh round of cuts are separate from that.
As part of the latest cull, seven of 20 presenters on 6.30 P.M. regional news bulletins will lose their jobs and some local radio shows will be canceled. Regional investigative journalism program “Inside Out” will be canceled and replaced by a new program with fewer editions. Online and regional TV news teams will be merged, and the online editorial hub in Birmingham will cease to exist.
However, several of the regional Sunday morning political shows that were replaced by a composite show during the pandemic will return, albeit after a review, as will regional morning news bulletins.
Helen Thomas, the director of BBC England, said: “We are in the age of the Facebook community group and the WhatsApp neighborhood chat. We must adapt to better reflect how people live their lives, how they get their news and what content they want.”
“We’re going to modernize our offer to audiences in England by making digital a central part of everything we do,” Thomas said. “We’ll take forward lessons from COVID-19 that will make us more agile and more in touch with communities while also ensuring we’re as efficient as we can be.”
“I’m confident we can evolve our local and regional services while improving our impact and better serving our audiences.”