BBC to axe 1,730 jobs to cut costs

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The Independent Online

The BBC is to cut 1,730 jobs in its first round of cost cuts, the director general, Mark Thompson, announced.

The BBC is to cut 1,730 jobs in its first round of cost cuts, the director general, Mark Thompson, announced.

Staff were told that 980 of them would be made redundant and a further 750 jobs "outsourced" from the corporation.

Union leaders said workers had reacted with "anger and disbelief" to the announcement, which Mr Thompson delivered in a video message. The jobs are being lost from the BBC's professional services division, which is being halved in size.

Some 46 per cent of staff in the division, which includes finance, human resources, marketing, policy and legal departments, will go.

A second wave of job cuts is to be announced later this month. Mr Thompson said projected overall cost savings will be £355m - £35m higher than expected.

The announcement comes a week after thousands of BBC staff across the country protested over the "savage" plans. The cuts are aimed at streamlining the BBC for digital services.

Mr Thompson said: "In December I talked about the creative prize for the BBC and our audiences - but the cost is nothing short of transformation. We have made a strong start, showing we are serious about change and ensuring we are maximising the value of our income for audiences' benefit.

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