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BBC axes new stations plan

As part of the jobs cuts announced by the BBC, additional cuts are being made by axing non-core activity by BBC Regions. These include scrapping plans for new BBC local radio stations in Bradford, Cheshire, Dorset and Somerset.

In addition, BBC buses run by local radio stations will stop operating by March 2008. Jobs losses from the BBC bus are in addition to the one job per station, per year, each station are expected to cut over the next three years.

The news is part of a bigger plan to deliver "a smaller, but fitter, BBC" in the digital age, Director General Mark Thompson said today. The six-year scheme, called Delivering Creative Future, was prompted by a smaller than expected licence fee settlement from the government. Every part of the BBC will be required to make efficiency savings.

He continued:

"Media is transforming. Audiences are transforming. It would be easy to say that the sheer pace of this revolution is too fast for the BBC. That for us to do what other media players are doing — integrating newsrooms, mixing media, exploiting the same content aggressively across different platforms — is just too radical … but I think we can see both here and around the world the price you pay for taking what looks like the safe option.

"I've devoted almost my whole working life to the BBC, much of that not as a suit but as a rank-and-file programme-maker. I love the BBC and what it stands for. I care too much to see it drift steadily into irrelevance."

In addition, the BBC will also sell-off its flagship Television Centre in London, under the plans to make up a £2bn budget shortfall.

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