BBC News staff have been told of widespread cuts to correspondent and editor positions, as it seeks to save 20% from its budget while incorporating journalists from the World Service.
Director of news Helen Boaden briefed staff today on the cuts, which seek to save 20% from the division’s budget as part of the corporation-wide Delivering Quality First (DQF) initiative. Within news, this totals £89m annually.
Those facing job cuts include regional domestic and international field correspondents. The latter will be replaced in part with journalists from the World Service. Newsgathering will be brought under a single centre in the new premises in W1, with regional editors being cut across the board.
The redundancies come on top of 45 announced in May as part of its earlier cost-saving scheme, Delivering Creative Future.
On top of the redundancies, the BBC is planning to make a number of on screen changes. Bespoke business and sports slots on the News Channel will be cut entirely, with specialists being parachuted in for breaking news. The channel is also planning to run fewer features and truck-based outside broadcasts (OBs), which are deemed too expensive to continue.
As previously revealed by Broadcast, redundancy packages and unpredictability allowance (UPA) is also being reviewed.
Although the BBC said no final decisions had been taken, this is the first time a proposal arising from DQF has been put to staff in such detail. The executive must submit its set of proposals to the Trust next month.
A BBC spokesman said: “We are not going to get drawn into a running commentary - no decisions have been taken and therefore these claims remain speculation. Any decisions coming out of the process would be subject to approval by the BBC Trust.”
The move also comes ahead of a review of BBC Parliament and BBC News being conducted by the Trust. An eight-week public consultation period opened in May.