BBC retains BBC Hindi news as alternative funding explored

The BBC said today that it intended to retain a part of the Hindi news service it had originally earmarked for closure while it explores the possibility of transferring the service to a commercial organisation.

The BBC Hindi radio was one of five separate services scheduled for closure as part of the outcome of the corporation’s Spending Review 2010 settlement.

The corporation said today that since the announcement of the results of the review it had been approached by a ‘number of commercial parties’with alternative funding proposals.

The BBC issued a statement that said: ‘In order to explore these proposals further, BBC World Service has decided to retain an evening news and current affairs radio broadcast (one hour) in Hindi for our Indian audiences for an interim period.”

The corporation said the retained service would be broadcast on all platforms – shortwave radio, online and mobile.

However, it warned that if sustainable commercial funding could be found during the 2011/12 financial year, then the service would be closed by March 2012.

The BBC revealed in January that about 650 jobs would be cut from the World Service workforce of some 2,400 in a bid to save £46 million a year.

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