BBC denies half of workforce faces sack

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The BBC director general, Mark Thompson, has dismissed claims that up to half of the corporation's staff could be sacked as "preposterous".

The BBC director general, Mark Thompson, has dismissed claims that up to half of the corporation's staff could be sacked as "preposterous".

Mr Thompson e-mailed staff yesterday to reassure them that reports of 14,000 job cuts from a total workforce of around 28,000 were exaggerated. But despite his attempts, unions are concerned that up to 6,000 jobs could be lost to cut costs. Insiders expect the number of job cuts to be closer to 5,000 and for most redundancies to be made within a year.

"Inevitably, staff numbers are one of the issues we are looking at in the context of Value for Money but the idea that anyone anywhere in the BBC is seriously suggesting making half the BBC redundant is simply preposterous," said Mr Thompson. Value for Money is one of four reviews set up to examine cutting costs across the corporation, and was launched by Mr Thompson when he became director general in June.

Three review groups are looking at moving some departments to Manchester - including Radio Five Live and children's programmes - and the commissioning process ofbroadcast programmes.

The BBC has admitted every department will be affected by the reviews. The findings will be presented to the BBC's governors at the end of November. On 7 December Mr Thompson will announce the results to staff and explain why changes are necessary. "I know it's difficult, but I really would urge you to ignore all the speculation until then - unsettling though I know it is," Mr Thompson wrote.

The BBC has arranged to meet union representatives to begin negotiations on 9 December, but the National Union of Journalists is pressing for a meeting before that date.

Comments