BBC to cut 450 jobs from regional TV, radio & news teams

UK pubcaster the BBC is to cut 450 jobs across its English regional TV news and current affairs, local radio and online news divisions.

The cuts at BBC England, which has more than 3,000 staff, follows recent news of more than 150 job losses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The action is expected to save the BBC £25m (USD$31m) by 2022. The broadcaster has previously said that it needs to save £125m this year due to financial difficulties caused by the Coronavirus pandemic.

The proposed 450 jobs to be cut at BBC England are on top of the 450 redundancies that were previously announced, but then put on hold, back in March.

As a result of the job losses, some local radio shows will be axed, while investigative journalism programme Inside Out will be cancelled and replaced with as new show that has six regional editions instead of the existing 11.

Helen Thomas, the director of BBC England, said the corporation’s local and regional services were in need of “significant reinvention” and that “difficult decisions” needed to be taken.

“We are in the age of the Facebook community group and the WhatsApp neighbourhood chat. We must adapt to better reflect how people live their lives, how they get their news and what content they want,” said Thomas.

“We’re going to modernise our offer to audiences in England by making digital a central part of everything we do. We’ll take forward lessons from Covid-19 that will make us more agile and more in touch with communities while also ensuring we’re as efficient as we can be.”

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