BBC slashes 450 newsroom jobs in shift to digital

Posted January 29, 2020 9:59 a.m. EST

— BBC News is cutting 450 jobs as part of a modernization plan that will shift resources from television production to digital services.

The announcement was delivered to staff in a meeting on Tuesday.

"We need to reshape BBC News for the next decade in a way which saves substantial amounts of money," Fran Unsworth, director of news and current affairs, said in a statement. "We are spending too much of our resources on traditional linear broadcasting and not enough on digital."

The BBC said it would cancel one of its flagship programs, and reduce the number of films produced for Newsnight, its late evening daily news show. Cuts will also be made to the BBC World Service, and the number of anchors will be reviewed.

The network will also focus on fewer stories, reorganizing the newsroom around a "story-led" model, with more journalists based outside of London.

Unsworth said the news division needs to save £80 million ($104 million) by 2022, due to "pressures across the BBC." About half of those savings have already been reached, she added.

A majority of the BBC's funding comes from the £154.50 ($202) annual tax paid by all Brits who watch or stream live TV.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a review of the fee, including whether a failure to pay it should lead to legal action.

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