More than 500 jobs to go in BBC News

  • 15 Jul 2020

An extra 70 jobs than previously expected will be cut as a result of Covid-19, said the corporation.

The BBC has announced it will need to cut 70 more jobs than previously expected as a result of Covid-19.

The corporation had previously earmarked 450 jobs to go in News as part of a £800m savings package across the whole of the BBC.

These cuts were "paused" as part of the BBC's response to covering the Covid-19 crisis. Now, as a result of the pandemic and a delay in implementing new rules surrounding free licence fees for the over-75, the BBC needs to save a further £125m.

Today the BBC announced the latest 150 post closures on top of the 120 previous revealed in January. That leaves a further 250 still to come.

In the latest round of cuts, Politics Live will return but only for four days a week, Monday to Thursday, instead of the pre-Covid Monday to Friday. BBC Parliament will focus on live coverage of the elected UK chambers and will no longer commission the bespoke programmes it currently makes.

The pool of presenters will be reduced.

These cuts follow the 450 announced in England and 150 in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Paul Siegert, the NUJ's national broadcasting organiser said:

"All through Covid-19 the BBC has shown its worth time and time again with staff going the extra mile to keep services on air. Now the reward for many of those hard working journalists will be the threat of redundancy. We repeat our call for financial intervention from the Government for increased funding for the BBC. The alternative is a slow death for the BBC as people are deprived of the programmes and services they want and love."

Other changes:

  • BBC News will have fewer reporters overall and correspondents will report for a number of programmes.
  • There will be an end to business bulletins on the News Channel
  • Digital journalists will be moved into the Newsgathering team and stories will be put out in the morning when digital audiences are highest.
  • A new team will focus on under-reported 'off diary' stories, producing content for daily news programmes and online.
  • The BBC News Channel in the UK and BBC World News globally will remain as separately branded channels, but will retain some elements of shared output in the mornings and evenings.
  • The World Service's The World This Week will end, and Newsday's hours cut. A new Africa-focused podcast will be launched. Radio 4's In Business will also go.

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