More DQF job cuts expected at Radio 5 live
More jobs are to go at the BBC under the Delivering Quality First plan, including at BBC Radio 5 live in Salford.
75 posts will be cut in News and English regions, plus Current Affairs, with at least five of those at 5 live, RadioToday understands.
BBC director of news and current affairs James Harding sent an email to staff this morning. “These cost savings will result in the closure of up to 75 posts across BBC News and the English Regions. This will, I know, mean that we will see colleagues that we respect leave the BBC. We will all be extremely sorry to see them go,” he said.
“The changes that we are implementing today are intended to hit our budget targets for the second year – 2014-15 – and will save a further £11 million. We will therefore need to find further substantial savings over the following two years.
“Last year there were significant cuts to the BBC World Service. The closure of 75 posts this year is spread across News and English Regions. I am determined that, where we can, we will avoid compulsory redundancies, but we cannot guarantee that will always be possible.”
The Guardian reports 5 Phil Williams’ show will be affected by the post closures, with management ending dedicated presentation of business news on the programme.
BBC News Head of Programmes, Ceri Thomas, told staff in a memo that there would be 5 posts lost at Radio 5 live under today’s proposals. “We have already delivered significant savings in terms of reporters and daytime production in the current year, the first year of DQF, and we are now proposing that we proceed with the plans we have already set out for year 2, starting in April 2014,” he said. “This involves focusing savings on our overnight programming, including the loss of 5 posts: one Assistant Editor, one SBJ and three BJs. We expect to be able to achieve these closures without resorting to compulsory redundancies and we will be looking for volunteers along with the rest of BBC News.”
Thomas added: “These savings will mean editorial and operational changes. We aim to keep our Up All Night programme, with its primary focus on global news, but we will use more pre-recorded content and we will look to establish a closer relationship with the World Service. We also plan to end our Morning Reports programme. We are talking to the Business Unit about partially replacing this during weekdays with an extended Wake Up To Money programme. We will consult with the teams affected before finalising the exact changes.”
One Senior Broadcast Journalist post will also be closed in the Radio Current Affairs department as a result of the decommissioning of Taking A Stand, Thomas said.
The remainder of the 75 redundancies announced today are across other BBC News departments such as newsgathering and the BBC News Channel, with a tweet from BBC journalist Gareth Bebb revealing that the television news channel will lose one presenter, one senior BJ and two Broadcast Journalists.
DQF is the BBC’s plan for how it can best deliver the highest quality programmes and content to audiences until the end of the Charter in 2017. Part of the wider plan is to re-focus 5 live on core output of news and sport.