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BBC to axe 1,000 jobs

The BBC is to cut 1,000 jobs in a bid to make up a predicted £150m (US$234m) shortfall in licence fee income for 2016/17.

BBC boss Tony Hall

BBC boss Tony Hall

A rise in viewers watching content on catch-up service iPlayer, mobiles and online has been blamed for the budget gap.

The UK pubcaster’s director general, Tony Hall, said new measures being proposed would help bridge that gap by delivering £50m in savings from merging divisions, cutting down management layers, reducing managers and improving processes.

Of the 1,000 posts being lost, most will come from professional and support areas, while management structures are set to be streamlined.

“A simpler, leaner BBC is the right thing to do and it can also help us meet the financial challenges we face,” Hall said in a statement. “We’ve already significantly cut the costs of running the BBC, but in times of very tough choices we need to focus on what really matters – delivering outstanding programmes and content for all our audiences.”

The BBC said its proposed steps are:

  • To reduce the number of divisions. First by joining up technology teams across Digital, Engineering and Worldwide. Further changes are also possible.
  • To reduce the number of layers from the top to the bottom of the organisation. In some places there are currently 10 layers of people and management and this will be cut to a maximum of seven in the future.
  • To reduce management roles in all areas of the BBC. A simpler organisation will inevitably require fewer managers, especially at senior levels.
  • To simplify and standardise procedures across the BBC, particularly looking at how professional and support areas such as marketing and communications, finance, HR, IT support and legal are structured and can be simplified.


The corporation will identify the saving opportunities throughout the summer, with a final decision expected in early autumn. The company currently employs 18,000 staff.

Hall promised a leaner and simpler BBC when he became director general two years ago and is now implementing changes, such as turning BBC3 into an online-only brand as the corporation gears up for charter renewal next year.

It is estimated the BBC will already have cut £1.5bn a year in costs by 2017, but it has still been hit hard by the annual licence fee being frozen at £145.50 at the time of its last review.

Hallhopes to close the loophole in its present agreement which means that iPlayer viewers do not need to pay the licence fee in the pubcaster’s next deal with the government.


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