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Cutbacks may mean mergers

BBC to axe 1,000 staff as more households switch off live TV

BBC WorldwideThe BBC is to cut 1,000 jobs, blaming the £150 million shortfall in its income on households who no longer watch live television.

The axe is likely to fall on support staff, such as IT and human resources, while management structures will be streamlined, although BBC director general Tony Hall says this will save only a third of the total required. Some divisions may be merged.

Lord Hall said the BBC was facing “difficult choices” because of the tough financial climate.

He said more than one million fewer people had a television set than was predicted in 2011, when another round of efficiency savings were implemented, so extra savings had to be found. More people are watching catch up television online.

“Despite the progress already made, and the realities of the licence fee being frozen for seven years, a new financial challenge means additional savings must now be found,” he said.

He said decision-making had become too complicated in recent times, as new services have been introduced, and that he wanted to cut these back to make things simpler, which “inevitably would lead to fewer decision-makers”.

He said the BBC was already making £1.5 billion in savings every year, but because of the shortfall in licence fee income, more need to be done.

The four key areas for making the savings are:

  • Merging divisions, bringing together teams in BBC and BBC Worldwide
  • Cutting out management layers, reducing management levels from 10 to seven
  • Reducing management roles, bringing down the number of senior positions
  • Simplifying procedures in professional areas including legal, marketing and finance
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