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BBC’s DQF to shed 75 more jobs

19 September 2013

Up to 75 posts are to go at the BBC, most of them journalists' jobs, as part of the corporation's so-called Delivering Quality First (DQF) programme.

DQF aims to lose 2,000 jobs overall across the corporation – a 20 per cent cut in five years, in addition to the 7,000 jobs already lost at the BBC since 2004.

In a letter to staff, James Harding, director BBC news and current affairs, said:

"I also need to be clear that this is not the end of the process. In 2010, against a backdrop of cuts across public services, pressure on household budgets and downsizing elsewhere in the media, the Government froze the licence fee until 2017. In addition, the BBC assumed responsibility for the funding of other services, notably the World Service.
"In October 2011, the BBC announced plans for £700 million savings – or 20 per cent of the total budget - by 2016-17. In news and the English regions, we committed to find just over £60 million of annual savings – or 13 per cent of our budget – in the same period. 
"In the first year – i.e. the current financial year - we will achieve £25 million of annual savings. 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."

He said he hoped to avoid compulsory redundancies during this latest round of cuts.

Sue Harris, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said:

"These year-on-year cuts are having a huge impact on staff in terms of workload. More than 5,000 jobs went under Mark Thompson's Value for Money cost-cutting exercise, that was followed by year-on-year job losses under Delivering Creative Futures and now we have the second tranche of job losses under DQF.
"We will be working hard to ensure there are no compulsory redundancies and that redeployment arrangements work. However, it is those left struggling under ever-increasing workloads that I am concerned about. This salami-slicing year after year is creating departments that are too lean to be effective – quality will suffer and staff will be put under stress."

Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:

"We are in this position because of the former director general Mark Thompson's shabby, behind-closed-doors, deal with the government. His decision to agree to freeze the licence fee until 2017 and take on an extra £340 million in new financial responsibilities, such as the World Service and the provision of fast broadband, has proved a disaster for the corporation.
"Last week we watched Thompson and members of the BBC Trust defending £1 million pay-offs to former executives, this week we hear hard-working journalists committed to the BBC and public service broadcasting are to be shown the door."

Tags: , bbc, cuts, broadcasting, delivering quality first