'I'll be blunt' BBC staff warned of looming job cuts – £285m hole after licence fee freeze

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'I'll be blunt' BBC staff warned of looming job cuts – £285m hole after licence fee freeze

Tim Davie, the BBC director-general, is said to have warned staff about job cuts after the recent licence fee settlement, which will see the £159 c

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Tim Davie, the BBC director-general, is said to have warned staff about job cuts after the recent licence fee settlement, which will see the £159 cost frozen for two years. The decision will leave the broadcaster with a funding shortfall of about £285m by 2027.

The BBC director-general has said the deal would also require the BBC to rethink its operational structure.

According to The Times, in an internal video conference, Tim Davie told employees the headcount at the BBC would “probably” get slightly smaller.

Mr Davie reportedly said: “I’m going to be blunt — we’d rather have slightly less people here, but properly funded and in the right place.”

This prompted fears about staff redundancies.

Employees are said to be “upset, frustrated and depressed”, according to The Times.

Mr Davie reportedly told BBC employees that they should expect further details in April once the new financial year begins and the fee freeze has been implemented.

To reduce some of the financial backlash of the fee freeze, the corporation will need to make significant savings, which could leave certain programmes and services in the firing line.

With many audiences moving online for their entertainment, it’s believed the corporation plans to reprioritise its services to keep up with the increasingly digital world. This could see the broadcaster moving away from traditional TV and radio.

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When asked whether channels might be axed, Mr Davie replied: “Absolutely.”

Nadine Dorries’ decision to freeze the fee has reportedly raised concerns from senior ministers, despite Boris Johnson throwing his support behind the move.

Thérèse Coffey, Work and Pensions Secretary, is said to have told the Cabinet that the implications of the fee freeze should have been given more thought.

According to the Financial Times, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is believed to have questioned the speed of the announcement.



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