BBC Slashes Nearly 3,000 Jobs

In a move expected save hundreds of millions of pounds a year, the BBC director-general, Mark Thompson, unveiled a plan Tuesday to make the BBC more efficient and to refocus the organization as a public service broadcaster. While most media executives expect total job cuts to number 6,000 of the total staff of 27,000... the actual cuts were less than half at almost 3,000.

Thompson also announced the biggest ever relocation of BBC staff, moving between 1,000 and 1,500 staff to Manchester, including Radio 5 Live, BBC Sport, and Children’s TV (which commercial broadcasters want to kill off). There are predictions that the move will drive up housing prices in Manchester.

This come as the BBC prepares to renew its charter, which expires in 2006. The corporation will need to justify the £121 license fee charged per television set, which largely pays for its £3.6 billion annual budget. Thompson is concerned about the BBC's role and lack of efficiency as the public increasingly switches to satellite delivered digital television.

Additional BBC divisions are expected to be sold, just as BBC Technology was sold earlier this year, including BBC Worldwide, which handles merchandising and distribution and profits £123 million.