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BBC cuts: Channel Islands jobs to be lost

News | Published:

JOBS are to be lost at the BBC in the Channel Islands as part of a cost-cutting reorganisation of local radio and television services.

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The corporation, which employs around 60 people in the Channel Islands, announced that local jobs would be among 450 cut, including 139 in local radio, out of more than 3,000 posts it has across BBC England.

A spokesperson said they could not confirm the number of cuts required in the Channel Islands but that they were currently exploring voluntary redundancies with staff. Roles lost throughout BBC England will be among operations staff, technical staff, presentation staff and journalists.

BBC England, of which BBC Channel Islands form a part, must save £25m by the end of March 2022. The corporation has already had to save £800m in the current charter period before the Covid-19 pandemic struck which has added a further £125m to the savings requirement due to revenue shortfalls.

BBC England, home of the BBC’s local radio stations and regional TV news, will undergo what the corporation describes as ‘a significant reinvention’.

Helen Thomas, the director of BBC England, said: ‘I’m proud people have turned to us for trusted news and information in huge numbers during Covid-19, proving the importance of our local and regional services.

‘But those services were created more than 50 years ago, have changed very little and need significant reinvention. That has meant taking some difficult decisions.

‘We’ll take forward lessons from Covid-19 that will make us more agile and more in touch with communities while also ensuring we’re as efficient as we can be. I’m confident we can evolve our local and regional services while improving our impact and better serving our audiences,’ she said.

The new approach will consolidate a number of changes introduced when the coronavirus struck, including standardised local radio programming schedules with three four-hour programmes running throughout the day from 6am to 6pm. Each will have a single presenter.

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A similar requirement for a single presenter of the evening television news bulletin will not affect Channel Islands viewers as the bulletin has always been fronted by one presenter only.

However, the regional current affairs programme Inside Out, which has included items from the Channel Islands, will move its South West home from Plymouth to Bristol.

Matthew Price, assistant editor at BBC Channel Islands, said that he could not comment on the local situation.

Rod McLoughlin

By Rod McLoughlin
Reporter

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