BBC makes “tough choice” to cut over 1,000 jobs to save £50m

One employee who received a high-profile sacking following an assault on a colleague was, of course, Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson – a man who earned approximately £1m a year, while generating around £50m annually for his employer.

However, while shows like Top Gear have a loyal – if somewhat alarming – following, the TV viewing habits of today’s consumers are rapidly changing due to on-demand and so on. In turn, a freeze of the licence fee for seven years is in the pipeline and the BBC expects income to be £150m less than it was in 2011 as a result.

According to the BBC: “This is because as more people use iPlayer, mobiles and online catch-up, the number of households owning televisions is falling. It also provides further evidence of the need for the licence fee to be modernised to cover digital services.”

BBC director-general Tony Hall has been instrumental in attempting to overcome the challenges with a new structure to make the firm “simpler, leaner and more effective for the future”.

Savings over recent years are set to total £1.5bn a year by 2017, and the BBC has reached that milestone by cutting administration and property costs.

Quoting figures from PwC, the broadcaster’s overheads are at eight per cent of overall costs and they’re set to drop to seven per cent – by comparison the public sector average is 11.2 per cent.

With that target in mind, 1,000 jobs will be axed to create additional savings of £50m, which will be doable by “merging divisions, cutting down management layers, reducing managers and improving processes”.

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Uniting the technology teams across digital, engineering and worldwide is one proposed step, while another is to reduce management layers from ten to a maximum of seven.

“A simpler, leaner, BBC is the right thing to do and it can also help us meet the financial challenges we face,” said Hall.

“We’ve already significantly cut the costs of running the BBC, but in times of very tough choices we need to focus on what really matters – delivering outstanding programmes and content for all our audiences.”

By comparison, Uber expects to create 50,000 jobs across Europe, while Waitrose plans to hire 2,000 members of staff and Jaguar Land Rover is set to bring in 1,300 people. Sainsbury’s has also revealed a plan for a recruitment drive by producing 480 specialist roles in digital and technology areas.

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