Long serving former BBC journalist Robin Lustig has spoken out about plans to merge the editing of Radio 4’s nightly current affairs programme The World Tonight with the Newshour on The World Service.
Lustig presented both programmes from 1989 to 2012.
He spoke to Press Gazette has it was revealed today that both programmes face cutbacks as part of changes aiming to cut £48m a year from the BBC News budget. Some 415 jobs are being cut, with a further 195 created, making a net reduction of 220 jobs over the next two years.
Lustic said: "I think it's a real shame to deprive two excellent programmes, both of which I presented for more than 20 years, of their own editors.
“They need their own leadership and their own identities to serve their very different audiences.
I totally understand the BBC's need to make savings, due to the last dismal licence fee settlement, but the savings that these proposed changes will make are peanuts compared to the real damage they risk to the programmes themselves.
“I really do hope the management of BBC News will reconsider."