News decides which jobs will go

Helen Boaden Helen Boaden: compulsory redundancies possible

Three Newsnight reporters, three Radio 4 News reporters and 17 posts across Radio 1 and 1Xtra news services are among the jobs to go in the first year of Delivering Quality First.

The announcements come as News Group director Helen Boaden reveals further details today about the impact of DQF proposals on teams within Network News, which will lose 140 posts by April next year.

Radio 4's Taking a Stand and Beyond Westminster will end as Radio Current Affairs addresses a £500k budget cut. Three or four posts will close as a result. Additionally two of File on Four's 30 programmes a year will be updated editions of programmes broadcast during the run, as will three or four editions of The Report.

In the Newsroom, meanwhile, 28 posts will close including nine studio staff. The News Channel - which will focus its budget on 'covering the main stories of the day and on breaking news' - will lose a presenter, the Radio Newsroom two SBJs, with six posts to go in online areas.

In Newsgathering, three additional correspondent/reporter/special correspondent posts will be lost in the UK team. The loss of four in World Affairs was announced earlier.

Six jobs at Millbank, including four posts in Live Political Programmes, will also go.

'I don't pretend that these changes will be easy or painless for individuals or teams,' says Boaden. 'As we have always done, we will work extremely hard to avoid any compulsory redundancies though, as the BBC gets smaller, we cannot guarantee complete success in this area.'

Greater sharing

More collaboration will be introduced to mitigate the effects of post closures and budget cuts. There will be greater sharing of reporters among Radio 4 News dailies such as Today, World at One and PM, as well as with Newsnight.

Newsnight will also be expected to seek joint commissions with TV and Radio Current Affairs to reduce the impact of losing reporters and the 'proportionate' production costs.

As announced previously, news services at Radio 1 and 1Xtra will merge, with one assistant editor, 12 SBJs, three BJs and one BA set to be out of a job.

Consultations with the unions over the latest proposals will start next week.

News Group has to make cuts of nearly £70m by 2016/17. The savings plan for the second and third years of DQF, together with further detail of the impact on Local Radio, Regional Current Affairs and the Asian Network, will be published at a later date.

'Severe threat'

In response to today's announcements, Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said: 'The top quality journalism we expect from the BBC is under severe threat. There will be fewer original news packages and more repeats.'

She blamed the cuts on Mark Thompson's licence fee deal with the government, which placed additional financial burden on the BBC.

'The NUJ is calling on Thompson's successor to revisit this deal,' Stanistreet said. 'Why should the BBC be making cuts to its vital news service to fund £150m a year for broadband roll out and a further £25m investment in a new local tv service that nobody wants?... When times are tough, the money should be used to protect creative content and quality news journalism.'


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