At BBC, 31 jobs to go

BBC to make 31 current affairs posts redundant
Cuts to department are latest in wave of cost savings at corporation

By Josh Halliday/Guardian

The BBC is making 31 posts redundant in the current affairs department
responsible for shows including Panorama – a 22% cut in full-time
staff – in a fresh wave of cost savings
at the corporation. The
redundancies affect BBC current affairs reporting, production and
support staff in London and Manchester.

However, the BBC's current affairs head count of 135 full–time staff
will remain "broadly the same", the corporation said, as more people
will be employed on short-term contracts, evening out the loss of the
31 full-time posts.

Twenty-six of the 31 redundancies are journalists, producers or
picture editors. The remaining five are support roles, including a
researcher and an archivist. The changes to the current affairs
department will help it "keep pace with the fast-changing media
environment", the broadcaster said on Tuesday.

BBC Vision Productions announced last week that it was to lose just
under 50 staff from its factual and natural history units in
Birmingham and Bristol. Overall, the BBC is looking to make cuts of up
to 20% across all departments over four years following October's
licence fee settlement, which will see the corporation's funding
frozen until 2017 – a 16% cut in real terms. The BBC is also taking on
extra funding commitments, including the World Service and most of
S4C's budget.

The World Service is losing 650 staff and BBC Online 360 in cuts
announced since the new year. Clive Edwards, the executive editor and
commissioning editor of BBC TV current affairs, said it would be a
"very tough time" for the department.

"We are committed to keeping on producing the very best programmes but
to do that it's crucial we implement this restructure. Because rates
of production fluctuate it has become uneconomic to keep the current
number of staff on full-time payroll and so the restructure will
change our staffing mix," he added.

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