BBC News Looks at 20% Cost Reduction

BBC Director of News Helen Boaden has unveiled plans to save £89m a year in her department by 2016/17. A 20% cut, which could equate to 1000 job losses from an 8000 staff base.

Boaden put forward the plan to senior members of her team this week. The most controversial aspects of the new plan is to merge BBC World Service into the News division. Currently, BBC WS is funded by the Foreign Office until 2014. But with that money set to be withdrawn and the licence fee already frozen, Boaden sees room to save money by merging similar posts. If this happens, it is believed that hundreds of news reporters could be surplus to requirements.

Other areas where Boaden sees potential savings are less likely to cause a stir. She is, for example, proposing to use fewer outside broadcasts since these are very expensive.

Following up on an issue that was first aired a few months back, she is also likely to limit the number of news anchors sent to cover news scenes, since this is also a costly business.

For the plans to become a reality, they need to go before the BBC Trust, a process likely to commence this summer. Another issue likely to be on the agenda is whether BBC News can make more money from selling its content abroad.

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