BBC to axe hundreds of jobs as £150m-a-year shortfall begins to bite

Director General Tony Hall is expected to announce hundreds of senior and middle managers will lose their jobs as the corporation attempts to cut costs

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The Independent Online

The BBC is expected to announce that the organisation will axe hundreds of jobs in a fresh round of cost cutting.

The public service broadcaster is facing a £150m-a-year shortfall and growing pressure from the Conservative government to become “leaner and simpler”.

The number of jobs culled from the current 18,000 workforce is expected to be in the high hundreds and involve the reduction of senior and middle managers, a BBC source told the Guardian.

Director General Tony Hall is expected to warn on Thursday that the drop in people paying the licence fee has hit the BBC harder than it expected.

Internal analysis has shown that the BBC’s forecasted income for 2016-17 faces a shortfall of £150m as people exploit a loophole where people can not pay the licence fee if they only watch catch-up television online.

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The new Arts Secretary John Whittingdale is an outspoken critic of the BBC

 

It comes as the government announced plans to decriminalise non payment of the fee last year and is set to debate its future ahead of negotiations over the renewal of its Royal Charter next year.

This comes just days after the BBC lost its rights to show the Olympics to Eurosport until 2024 after the International Olympic Committee signed a £920m pan-Europe deal with the channel’s parent company Discovery.

The new Arts and Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale has been branded "anti-BBC" as he is one of a number of Tory MPs who has stated that he believes the broadcaster has a “left-wing bias”.

A green paper on its future is due to be published in the past few weeks with ministers warning it could include a possible insistence that the BBC pay for the £700m-a-year subsidy for licences for the over 75s.

Currently the Treasury foots the bill after governors threatened to resign when the idea was first mooted in 2010.

Other changes include a new regulator nicknamed “Ofbeeb” to replace the BBC Trust and the threat of closure if the organisation did not deal with right-wing charges of left-wing bias.

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