BBC cuts in current affairs department

The restructuring will lead to 31 reporting, production and support posts being cut from London and Manchester.
February 16, 2011

Another round of cuts has been announced by the BBC, this time impacting its current affairs unit.

The public broadcaster officially announced yesterday that it will be cutting 31 reporting, production and support posts from its London and Manchester offices. The cuts amount to a 22% reduction in full-time staff.

The corporation says the restructuring will allow for “a more effective balance between full-time staff and people working on short-term contracts.” It also maintains that the number of people working on current affairs content will remain “broadly the same.”

Of the 31 positions being cut, 21 are reporting or production posts with the remainder including archivists, picture editors, researchers and administrative support.

“For the brilliant staff in Current Affairs this is going to be a very tough time and I want to emphasise that the work they have been doing has been outstanding,” said Clive Edwards, executive editor and commissioning editor for the BBC’s TV current affairs department, in a statement.

“Because rates of production fluctuate it has become uneconomic to keep the current number of staff on full-time payroll and so the restructure will change our staffing mix,” he continued. “Although this has been a very hard decision to come to I am confident that it will mean we can continue to produce programs of the very highest quality and impact.”  

Last week, reports emerged that BBC Vision would be cutting close to 50 production staff – namely series producers and producers – from its factual department in Birmingham and its factual division and Natural History Unit in Bristol.

The slew of job eliminations is part of the BBC’s plan to cut 20% across the board over the next four years following last year’s license fee settlement which will render the fee frozen until 2017.



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