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New round of BBC cuts to generate $420 million in annual savings

The cuts and reprioritizing of resources at the British Broadcasting Corp. continued this week with the announcement that the broadcaster plans to reduce its content and output areas to produce a savings of about $420 million per year.

According to BBC Director-General Mark Thompson, the savings will be reinvested into programs. The latest cuts come on the heels of an announcement two weeks ago that the BBC would reduce its professional service headcount by 46 percent.

The cuts announced this week would eliminate more than 2000 jobs, or a 13 percent reduction in the content and output area workforce. BBC News will lose 420 positions in the latest cuts, saving the organization more than $65 million. Content and output areas identified for reductions include: television; radio and music; new media; sports; nations and regions; news and current affairs; factual and learning; drama, entertainment and CBBC divisions.

According to Thompson, the BBC will undertake a review of its technology strategy to simplify processes and identify additional savings.

The cuts will be phased in over three years and made through modernizing production, eliminating duplicate staff and reducing administrative support.

The BBC has identified many areas for reinvestment of the savings generated. Among them are $85.5 million for news to increase original journalism, current affairs, Middle East news coverage and news on-demand.

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