Business News Media Top Stories

65 jobs to go at BBC Radio as division restructures

By | Published on Wednesday 11 June 2014

BBC Radio

There’s more insecurity at the Beeb today after bosses yesterday announced they would be making 65 roles within the Corporation’s radio division redundant.

The cutbacks are part of a move to restructure the BBC’s national radio stations into two ‘hubs’, one consisting of all the ‘pop’ music services (Radios 1, 1Xtra, 2, 6 Music and Asian Network) and the other of classical and speech outlets (Radios 3, 4 and 4 Extra, and the Proms and orchestras that report into BBC Radio).

The BBC at large, of course, is under pressure to save money, with the licence fee fixed and therefore the Corporation’s income in real terms declining each year. Attempts to make savings by shutting 6 and the Asian Network failed due to a public backlash to the proposals, hence the alternative approach of trying to find savings by making the various BBC stations share resources, and reducing any duplication of roles between the various strands of the Corporation’s radio operation.

The new arrangement will see Radios 1 and 2 work more closely together, especially on commissioning, filming, live events and operations, though programme production and playlist management will remain separate. In the second hub, more admin functions will be shared between Radios 3 and 4. Though none of the restructuring will affect the way stations and programmes are presented on air.

The changes arguably put in place some of the reforms proposed by veteran commercial radio man John Myers in a report prepared for the BBC in 2011, even though Corporation chiefs at the time seemed to reject most of his ideas for making budget savings. Asked about yesterday’s announcement by Radio Today, Myers remarked: “These look like sensible cut backs that won’t affect the output too much but more needs to be done about the BBC’s own central recharges to radio, that make up around 70% of the total cost of each network”.

Meanwhile BBC Radio boss Helen Boaden said of the cutbacks: “BBC Radio is the envy of the world and our creativity is second to none. But we must also be as small as we can be to meet our savings challenges and increase our agility in the digital world without losing our distinctiveness or damaging relationships with our many audiences. Reducing the division’s headcount by 15% is challenging, but shows just how hard we are working to drive efficiency in everything we do”.

READ MORE ABOUT: | | | | | |