BBC journalists face further job cuts

By Caitlin Pike

Journalists at the BBC face a new round of
widespread jobs cuts in the second year of Mark Thompson’s plan to save
£355m by 2008.

In a scheduled meeting between joint unions and
BBC management on Tuesday -designed to further negotiate compulsory
redundancies arising from the first year of Thompson’s cuts – head of
radio news Stephen Mitchell announced the BBC’s wish list of
journalists posts to be cut across both radio and television news in
year two of Thompson’s strategy.

The proposals include three
reporters being lost from the Today programme, one reporter to be axed
from World at One and PM. Five Live is to loose seven specialist
reporters including those covering consumer affairs, home affairs,
entertainment, health and science. BBC Radio planning is to be
reorganized with Five Live and the Asian Network loosing their own
specific planning team. The BBC admitted this would result in less
distinctive news on the four radio networks, Five Live, Asian Network,
Radio Two and Radio Four.

Aside from radio, 29 posts in news
gathering, 12 jobs in new media and interactive and five jobs in
television news planning are also proposed to be cut.

BBC head of
news Peter Horrocks sent an e mail to staff on Tuesday saying that
compulsory redundancies with the new round of proposed job cuts could
not be ruled out. Up to 200 staff are still facing compulsory
redundancy from the first year of job cuts.

NUJ representatives
at Tuesday’s meeting said that they would not discuss the proposed job
cuts for year two until they had completed negotiations with management
over the first round of cuts.

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