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After a week of speculation, BBC director-general Mark Thompson has broken the news to staff and the real numbers are now in on the scale of job losses. BBC Future Media & Technology will lose 120 to 130 people; the News division will lose 355 to 370 as the online, radio and TV newsrooms converge; Audio and Music, which handles podcasts as well as radio, will lose 65 to 75; Vision, which outputs factual, children’s and entertainment TV, is the biggest loser with 640 to 660 going; Nations and Regions will see 510 to 550 go; Sport will axe up to 20 and Professional Services will shed up to 75 admin staff. There will be some 2,500 redundancies over the next six years but, with 700 new hires, it’s a net loss of 1,800 redundancies. Strikes are expected.
The BBC is “scrapping proposals for new activities” – it’s not clear which projects that relates to, but BBC Vision director Jana Bennett said: “Plans to make programmes available through the iPlayer and other interactive platforms were ‘meeting the needs of our audience’” (via BBC News). There will also be “an enhanced on-demand news, sport and local information for the digital age” (though that sounds like a previous local news proposal) and “a multi-media Radio 1 Newsbeat”. A “My BBC Now” personalised broadband service will get a £300 million investment, Press Gazette reckons.
Thompson’s six-year plan (enforced by a smaller license fee increase than hoped for) centres on maintaining quality, making a smaller BBC and ensuring “a digital step change” “to offer audiences programmes wherever and whenever they want them