BBC Plans 10% Staff Reduction
December 10, 2004
Britain's public broadcaster plans a 10 percent reduction in its workforce in an effort to trim more than $620 million in costs, according to Reuters.
BBC Director Mark Thompson, who Reuters says once described the BBC as "basking in a Jacuzzi of spare public cash" when he ran a competing broadcaster, announced the cuts as part of his plan for stabilizing the broadcaster in the future via Britain's tax on households that have a TV. The tax brings in some $54 billion per year to the BBC and the government is reviewing that figure as the BBC's 10-year charter expires in 2006.
Reuters quotes Thompson as saying, "having a credible, clear plan" is the best way to win charter renewal.
The BBC plans to cut at least 2,900 of its 28,000 jobs over two to three years. It will also try to spin off its studio and production unit and its transmission unit, resulting in possibly an additional 2,300 jobs lost for a total of more than 5,000 positions.
Thompson said while the BBC would look for efficiencies in all programs the total money the broadcaster would spend on journalism would go up for radio, TV and new media. A number of departments, including radio, will be moved from London to Manchester over the next five years, according to the report.
(from Radio World)