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The BBC is cutting 1,000 jobs

The BBC is cutting 1,000 jobs
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BBC director general Tony Hall.

The BBC announced Thursday it is axing 1,000 jobs in a bid to cut costs.

The number of jobs cut represents 6% of its 16,672-strong licence fee-funded workforce.

In a speech to staff, BBC director general Tony Hall said the corporation hopes to save £50 million a year as a result of the restructure.

The BBC is under growing pressure from the UK Conservative government to become a "leaner and simpler" operation. The corporation forecasts that it could be facing a £150 million ($234 million) shortfall in income for 2016-17.

The drop in income is largely related to a decrease in people paying the £145.50 ($227) annual licence fee, which the BBC heavily relies on to keep running. People in the UK are required to pay the fee to watch live TV, whether on their TV sets or via their computers and mobiles. However, as more and more people opt to watching content on-demand and via services such as Netflix, fewer are paying the annual sum.

In an e-mail to staff, seen by Business Insider (which you can read in full below,) Hall says the BBC is making four big changes.

Firstly, it is merging divisions. As a first step, the BBC's technology, engineering, and digital teams will be merged together. This will affect staff in its public service arm, but also its Worldwide commercial division.

Hall is also seeking to cut out management layers - to a "maximum of seven" - having previously noted that some divisions had ten layers between the top and bottom of the organization.

The BBC will also reduce management roles and will bee seeking to simplify procedures across its professional and support areas such as marketing, finance, legal, HR, and communications.

Separately on Thursday media regulator Ofcom published its public service broadcasting review. The study - which looked into the BBC, ITV, STV, Channel 4, Channel 5, and S4C - found public service broadcasters "continue to make a significant contribution to UK broadcasting" but noted that a growth in watching content online is "creating challenges" for broadcasters.



BBC director general Tony Hall's e-mail to staff:

Dear All,

I care deeply about this organisation - and the people in it. That's why I wanted to share with you, openly and honestly, some big changes we're making to make the BBC simpler and leaner.

There are two things going on, which make today's announcements very necessary.

The first goes back to something I said when I came back here. I said I wanted a simpler organisation. It's what many of you have told me too - and it requires a different approach.

Secondly, we're facing a very difficult financial situation. Many of you have worked hard to achieve the savings we've made already. I know it's been hard. But there's more to do. And, before we do anything else that affects our programmes and services, we have to make sure we're running the BBC as efficiently as possible.

I'm announcing four things - aiming to do just that.

Merging divisions

We're looking at the number of divisions we need. As a first step, I've asked Ralph Rivera, Matthew Postgate and David Gibbons to bring together our teams in Technology, Engineering and Digital. And, that's not just in the public service, but across Worldwide too. It's just a start - and, over the next few months, I'll be working with our Directors to see what more we can do.

Cutting out layers

We've taken a good look at the structures across the BBC. In some places there are ten layers between the top and the bottom of the organisation. I think that's too many - and, in future, we'll work to a maximum of seven.

Reducing management roles

I'm a huge believer in strong management - management that's enabling and supports creativity. But the reality is, a simpler organisation, with fewer divisions and layers, will inevitably require fewer senior decision-makers in all parts of the BBC. I know this is hard - but it's the right thing to do.

Simplifying procedures

Finally, we're looking at how we run our professional and support areas - by which I mean all the teams, doing things as varied as marketing, finance, legal, HR and communications. They do a vital job for us. We'll be asking how each area should be structured, how we can simplify, and standardise, the ways we work - looking right across the public service and Worldwide.

These changes will save £50million a year. And, you know as well as I do, that many of those savings will be roles that we close. We estimate over a thousand jobs will go.

I recognise this is a very tough message. And, I want to make it clear that even though we'll inevitably be closing posts, it's not a reflection of the commitment or hard work of the people doing those jobs.

This is about structural change. It's about doing the right thing - to deliver maximum value to audiences, in a very challenging financial situation.

I want you to know we'll handle this decently - and fairly. There'll be more opportunities to discuss all this today and over the coming weeks. And we'll keep staff informed throughout, before any final decisions are taken.

Best wishes,


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