Wales

BBC Wales to cut 100 jobs in £10.7m five-year savings

BBC Wales has announced plans to save £10.7m over a five year period.

As part of 16% cuts in Wales about 100 jobs, mainly in support areas, will be lost.

Some programmes broadcast outside peak hours will disappear, but there is a pledge to protect programmes "vital" to BBC Wales' national role.

BBC Wales pledged to maintain investment in political coverage, current affairs and to strengthen flagship radio news programmes.

It said it needed to deliver savings of 16% in Wales - or £10.7m - by 2016/17.

Across the corporation, there will be 20% cutbacks.

Coverage of live sports other than rugby and football are set to be cut to meet the spending targets.

Announcing the changes to BBC Wales' 1,200 staff on Thursday, director Rhodri Talfan Davies said: "We need to live within our means

"We have a licence fee now that is frozen until 2016/7, we have a range of new funding commitments including the World Service and S4C, so the BBC has been tasked with delivering a 20% saving in order to fund those commitments but also to provide money to reinvest in new things like digital innovation.

"So, clearly, there are going to be areas where we have to cut back.

Dragon's Eye

"But what we have tried to do is protect those areas that we think are vital that is BBC Wales' national role."

He said most of the job losses would come in the next two years.

Mr Talfan Davies pledged to maintain investment in political coverage, in current affairs programmes like Week in Week Out, and to strengthen BBC Wales' flagship radio news programmes, Good Morning Wales and Post Cyntaf.

"All these programmes are vital in terms of the role we play in national life," he said.

Weekly politics programme Dragon's Eye is to be replaced by an independently-made programme and live coverage of the Welsh assembly will be confined to First Minister's Questions.

The number of opt-out programmes broadcast on BBC2 Wales is set to decline.

Cost-cutting exercise

Mr Talfan Davies said BBC Wales would provide "richer" news coverage, and said two new posts - for an economics and a culture correspondent - would be created.

About 2,000 jobs around the BBC as a whole are expected to go by 2016.

In Wales, about 120 are going but 20 are being created.

The job cuts are being across radio and in news, but most - up to 57 - are to be lost in support areas.

The cost-cutting exercise across the corporation is expected to lead to savings of £670m a year by 2016/17.

The review, named Delivering Quality First, was set up following the decision by the UK government to freeze the BBC licence fee for six years.

BBC director general Mark Thompson said: "It's a plan for a smaller BBC, but a BBC which uses its resources more effectively."

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