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450 jobs to go as BBC cuts news services including 5Live and Newsnight

A general view of BBC Broadcasting House (Dominic Lipinski/PA)
A general view of BBC Broadcasting House (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The BBC has announced cuts to Newsnight, 5Live and other news output, leading to around 450 job losses.

The corporation said it wanted to “reduce duplication” while making savings of £80 million.

It said there will be a review of “the number of presenters we have and how they work”.

There will also be a reduction in the number of films produced by Newsnight.

The flagship political programme recently made headlines with its interview with the Duke Of York.

There will also “be post closures at 5Live driven by the changing listening habits of the audience and demand for digital content”.

The changes mean there will be “a reduction in the overall number of stories covered” and “there will be further investment in digital news”.

Plans to axe Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC Two programme have already been leaked, with the host saying she was “absolutely devastated”.

Victoria Derbyshire programme cancelled
Victoria Derbyshire leaves BBC Broadcasting House in London, after it was announced that her TV programme is being taken off air (Yui Mok/PA)

The BBC said the changes “to how BBC News will work will lead to an estimated 450 job losses”.

More of the corporation’s journalists will be based outside London.

Fran Unsworth, director of news and current affairs, said: “The BBC has to face up to the changing way audiences are using us.

“We need to reshape BBC News for the next decade in a way which saves substantial amounts of money. We are spending too much of our resources on traditional linear broadcasting and not enough on digital.

“Our duty as a publicly funded broadcaster is to inform, educate and entertain every citizen. But there are many people in this country that we are not serving well enough.”

BBC News has to save £80 million as part of financial pressures on the corporation, including paying for free TV licences for over-75s on pension credit.

The cuts come amid payouts to some female staff, with radio presenter Sarah Montague getting a £400,000 settlement and Samira Ahmed winning an employment tribunal in a dispute over equal pay.

Bectu national secretary Noel McClean said: “It would be easy to point the finger at BBC management, and we will absolutely hold them to account, but Bectu knows that the reality is much more complicated and that Government policy (including decisions around free licences for over 75s) has led to the pressures that impact our members and audiences.

“Bectu will be doing everything it can to minimise the impact of today’s announcement. We have already met with the BBC to start consultation about their proposals and timescales about how staff can be deployed to other areas rather than losing their jobs.

“The unprecedented constraints faced by the BBC will leave our members under even more pressure to deliver the output and service that has made this essential public service the envy of the international broadcasting community and risks its future viability.”

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