Bloomberg News

BBC to Cut 2,000 Jobs, London Presence in Savings Drive

October 06, 2011

(Updates with plans to leave west London in fifth paragraph.)

Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- The British Broadcasting Corp., the world’s biggest public broadcaster, plans to cut 2,000 jobs and move offices and production outside of London as part of an effort to reduce costs after its funding was frozen.

The moves may save the broadcaster about 670 million pounds ($1.04 billion) annually by the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the BBC Trust said in a report today following an investigation into possible cost-cutting measures. The BBC will also scale back on non-news television and radio programs, and will reduce spending on content for its Asian Network radio broadcasts in Britain by more than one-third.

The BBC has undergone cost cuts of more than 1 billion pounds since 2008. The U.K. government ordered last year that the TV license fees that citizens pay to finance the channels remain at the same rate until 2017. The broadcaster is running out of room to make cuts, Director General Mark Thompson said in the report.

“It’s a plan for a smaller BBC, but a BBC which uses its resources more effectively and collaboratively,” Thompson said. “It’s my judgment that this is the last time the BBC will be able to make this level of savings without a substantial loss of services or quality or both.”

The BBC will move more of its operations out of London, exiting its west London headquarters and moving work to the north of England, the company said in the report.

Chris Patten, the chairman of the trust that sets BBC strategy and budgets, said in September that the London-based broadcaster might have to eliminate some foreign news bureaus. The company agreed in July to share its right to broadcast the Formula One auto-racing series with British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc to save money.

--Editors: Tom Lavell, Robert Valpuesta

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net


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