BBC to eliminate an estimated 450 jobs to ‘modernize’ its newsroom

The main entrance to the headquarters of the BBC in London. (File photo: AP)

The BBC said Wednesday that plans to “modernize” the British broadcaster’s newsroom will lead to the loss of an estimated 450 jobs.

The cuts represent a substantial blow to the national public service broadcaster, which enjoys a worldwide reputation for the high quality of its news and entertainment programs.

Fran Unsworth, director of news and current affairs, said the streamlining will be carried out with an eye on digital journalism.

“We need to reshape BBC News for the next decade in a way which saves substantial amounts of money,” Unsworth said. “We are spending too much of our resources on traditional linear broadcasting and not enough on digital.”

The broadcaster said it wants to “reduce duplication” while saving 80 million pounds ($105 million) in costs.

Like traditional news outlets throughout the world, the publicly-funded BBC faces financial and political pressure in a fast-changing media landscape.

Supporters and critics of Brexit have criticized the broadcaster’s coverage of the UK’s impending departure from the European Union. Some officials in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government have suggested changing the BBC’s funding model.

The broadcaster currently is funded largely through a 154 pound ($200) annual fee paid by every household with a television. It is not state-controlled, although the government sets the terms of the broadcaster’s charter, which is renewed once a decade.

The announced news operation cuts were not fully detailed. Some shows, including the current affairs and debate program “Victoria Derbyshire,” will be eliminated, while the flagship daily news program “Newsnight” will produce fewer long pieces.

Other cuts target positions at national radio service 5 Live and at the English language morning news “World Update” program of the BBC World Service.

BBC also said the number of people who present the news will be scrutinized.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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