BBC to cut 1,000 jobs in cost-saving drive

DetailsRebecca Hawkes | 03 July 2015

The BBC has confirmed that it will axe over 1,000 jobs in a quest to become "simpler and leaner", aiming for organisational savings of £50 million.

The public service broadcaster faces a funding shortfall of £150 million in 2016-17, thanks largely to the growth of online video. Furthermore, the frozen annual licence fee and the cost of broadband roll-outs have already contributed to a 26% decline in income, claims the corporation.

In an email to staff, BBC director general Tony Hall said: "We're facing a very difficult financial situation ... And, before we do anything else that affects our programmes and services, we have to make sure we're running the BBC as efficiently as possible."

The technology, engineering and digital divisions of the corporation are to be brought under one umbrella, and the number of layers between the top and bottom of the organisation will be limited to seven, Hall added. The areas of marketing, finance, legal, HR and communications all face restructure as part of the plans.

A "simpler" organisation will also require "fewer senior decision-makers in all parts of the BBC," Hall said, as part of what he called his "tough message" to BBC employees – which currently number around 18,000.

The job cuts, which will account for more than 5% of the BBC workforce, are expected by the beginning of 2015.

"The BBC needs to work carefully with staff and unions to ensure these losses are made as smoothly as possible and in a way which effects programming as little as possible," said shadow culture secretary Chris Bryant. "But the government should look seriously at the tough decisions already having to be made by the BBC before they get any further in their thoughts of cutting BBC budgets even more."

The Conservative Government is set to unveil a green paper on the BBC charter renewal in coming weeks. The current Royal Charter and Agreement came into force in 2006 and are due to expire in December 2016