BBC boss Mark Thompson pledges 'smarter' savings

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The Independent Online

BBC bosses have not ruled out closing channels to save money but said there is "a smarter way of making savings".

Director general Mark Thompson emailed staff today to tell them the corporation was "close to a package which fully meets the savings challenge of 20%".



The BBC committed itself to saving billions of pounds from its budget when it launched a process, called Putting Quality First, last year after the annual licence fee was frozen at £145.50 for six years.



Mr Thompson said: "We haven't ruled out service closures yet but the work so far suggests there's a smarter way of making savings without taking entire services away from the public. Why? Because every single service is strongly valued by its audience."



He said the final proposals would be presented to the BBC Trust in September and to staff after that.



He added: "I'd also like to reassure you about some of the things that we won't be proposing, but about which there has been speculation. We won't be closing any local radio stations or television regions. There will be no full or partial merger of local radio and Radio 5 Live. We will not be removing BBC Parliament from Freeview."



Mr Thompson said it was inevitable there would be job losses but added they would be "lower than some of the wild numbers I've seen in the press".

PA

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