News From Across The Pond: BBC Plans Cuts

The BBC is considering cutting 20 percent of its jobs, or 2,000 people, in response to a funding deal between the BBC and the government, reports Britain’s National Union of Journalists.

The deal means that the BBC’s federal income, much of which comes from a licensing fee British citizens pay per year (currently £145.50 per year per household), won’t be raised until 2017.

To pay for increasingly expensive news without increasing revenue means that the BBC will need to cut jobs. According to the NUJ, about 700 jobs will be lost in BBC News, with hundreds more jobs “at risk” in Scotland and Wales, at 5Live (a radio channel), local radio, and the Asian Network, which broadcasts programs in English and in five languages from the Indian subcontinent. The Asian Network is one of the cheapest stations the BBC puts out but also had one of the smallest market shares of all BBC stations, which may explain why it’s on the chopping block.

The cuts may also include salary reductions and other cost-saving measures.

Full details are still emerging, the NUJ says, as managers meet with their staffs across the UK to explain exactly who will be affected, and how.