The BBC's £79m (E88m) pay bill for senior management is set to fall by a quarter and more than 100 positions will go by 2013 under plans approved by the broadcaster's regulatory body.
The BBC's guaranteed income from the licence fee has been contrasted with the difficulties faced by rival commercial broadcasters. Television advertising revenues are forecast to drop by about 12 per cent this year. Sir Michael Lyons, the BBC Trust's chairman, said: "It is right that as a major public service organisation, the BBC shows leadership on this issue during difficult economic times."
Under the BBC's latest pay proposals, an extended pay freeze for executive board directors and the elimination of 18 per cent of the BBC's 643 senior management positions over the next three and a half years will help shave £20m from the BBC's personnel costs. Senior managers' bonus suspension will also continue for a further two years.
Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, said "The review published today demonstrates that the BBC is already achieving a significant discount against peer group organisations in its remuneration of senior managers. Nonetheless, I and every other senior manager need to recognise that we are in a different economic climate, that the media sector labour markets are depressed and that there are significant pressures on public finances."