BBC to Axe 450 Jobs as Britain Turns Away from TV Tax-Funded Broadcaster

A BBC logo is pictured on a television screen inside the BBC's New Broadcasting House office in central London, on November 12, 2012. The BBC announced that two of its executives were standing aside on Monday and warned more heads may roll as it battles with a major crisis over …
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The BBC has announced that it will cut 450 jobs from its news division, as well as scaling back the number of stories covered in an effort to save £80 million by 2022.

The United Kingdom’s taxpayer-funded news outlet, which currently staffs approximately 6,000 employees, will axe 450 jobs in a cost-cutting measure, as public sentiment in Britain is turning against the BBC over perceived bias and its mandatory licence fee.

The already-cancelled Victoria Derbyshire programme will be joined by cuts to the World Service, Newsnight, and 5 Live; however, there will be cuts throughout the news division.

“We need to reshape BBC News for the next decade in a way which saves substantial amounts of money. We are spending too much of our resources on traditional linear broadcasting and not enough on digital,” said BBC News director Fran Unsworth.

The broadcaster has come under increasing pressure from the left and the right in the UK, both of which have made allegations of media bias against the BBC.

A recent YouGov survey found that 50 per cent of the British public believed that the broadcaster should fund itself, compared to just 27 per cent who backed the TV licence fee model that charges £154.50 per year.

Ahead of the general election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he will consider scrapping the TV tax, saying: “You have to ask yourself if that kind of approach to funding a media organisation still makes sense on the long-term given the way other organisations manage to fund themselves?”

Writing on Twitter, Talk Radio host Julia Hartley-Brewer said of the announced cuts: “My sympathies go to every BBC journalist who faces losing their job today and I wish them the best in finding new work. But, as a taxpayer-funded organisation, the absurd over-staffing at the BBC simply cannot be justified anymore. There is no reason for BBC output to suffer.”

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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