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Grim day for the BBC

October 6, 2011

The BBC is expected to lay off more than 2000 staffers as it adjusts to life with lower annual income.  The bottom line is that the BBC must slash its £3.5 billion ($5.4bn) budget by some 20 per cent in order to stay solvent.  The BBC employs some 18,000 staff in the UK, although grows to nearer 23,000 when BBC Worldwide and its World Service staff is included.

The BBC will today say what services will go, although most observers expect its existing 8 national TV channels and 50 radio stations to stay intact. More likely to be affected are the TV programmes that viewers watch, with more repeats, more shared services, and earlier close-down of some channels. BBC director general Mark Thompson will tell staff today how his new ‘Delivering Quality First’ scheme will affect them.
There’s likely to be more to come. The BBC is expected to be spending £1 billion a year less in year 2015-16 because the license fee has been frozen and can no longer grow by an inflation-proofed 3.5 per cent per annum.

The BBC has already put its iconic ‘Television Centre’ site up for sale, and it is widely reported that its recently-built ‘Media City’ site is likely to be sold off and the site cleared to make way for a new Premiership football ground. Both Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers are said to be interested in the site.

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