No merger for BBC News Channel and World News but both face 10 per cent budget cut

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The BBC News Channel and BBC World News will remain as separate channels, but savings of 10 per cent are being sought across both teams.

There had been fears that the two news channels might merge as part of the BBC’s cost-cutting efforts, with the corporation looking to save £800m a year by 2020.

The National Union of Journalists argued merging the publicly-funded UK News Channel with the commercial international World News service would blur the lines between the licence fee and profit-making.

Sue Harris, NUJ broadcasting organiser, said: “This is good news and I am pleased the BBC has acknowledged that the two channels provide distinct services.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “We did detailed work on the proposal for a new single channel, including a financial model, and listened to what both audiences and BBC staff told us.

“Although there are strong arguments in favour of running a single news channel, we concluded that this would not be the best way of offering a UK audience and global audiences the news agenda that is most directly relevant to them.”

The BBC is now looking at making 10 per cent cuts across the two news channels, with the union said to be in talks with management about how savings can be made without cutting staff.

Said Harris: “Staff at both channels are already under a lot of strain because of heavy workloads and the effects of previous cuts.”

The BBC News Channel claims a weekly audience of eight to 10 million, reaching more than a hird of all households in the UK.

Staff at World News recently held a 24-hour strike over new rotas they claimed would significantly increase their working hours.

Comments

1 thought on “No merger for BBC News Channel and World News but both face 10 per cent budget cut”

  1. the problem with this was not the idea – why on earth shouldn’t these two channels merge? – but the folly of having a quasi commercial arm to the bbc for world service television at all. the bbc needs to wake up and realise that other international tv services are at least as good and in some cases better than bbc world and that the UK should capitalise on the BBC’s reputation to have an integrated world service radio and tv, as other countries have in the 21st century. a merger of these two channels would have been a start.

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