Wednesday, October 5, 2011

BBC set to announce budget cuts

The BBC is to announce how it proposes to make budget cuts of 20% as a result of the freeze to the licence fee.
The proposals are expected to mean changes to BBC output and job losses across the corporation.
Director general Mark Thompson will outline the results of a nine-month staff consultation - branded Delivering Quality First (DQF) - on Thursday.
Launching the DQF process in January, the director general said "tough decisions" would be required.

How the licence fee is spent

How the licence fee was spent in 2010-11
BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten will also explain on Thursday how the trust will consult licence fee payers on the plans. The public will have until the end of the year to respond.
Newspapers have been awash with speculation, with suggestions that original daytime TV output will be axed and that local radio stations will have to share more programming.
The BBC has refused to comment on these reports.
In January, Thompson said the BBC faced the challenge of finding 20% savings over the four years to April 2017.
This figure incorporates the 16% drop in revenue from the licence fee, and an attempt to claw back 4% of current expenditure to re-invest in new content and digital developments.
In 2010's government spending review, the BBC licence fee was frozen at £145.50 until 2016-17.

The BBC in figures

  • Licence fee income - £3.5bn
  • Other income - £1.4bn
  • Staff employed - 22,899*
  • Total salary spend - £1.08bn*
  • Talent salaries - £212m
  • Director general's salary - £779,000
  • Staffed buildings - 207
  • Staff moving to Salford - 2,300
  • Total UK audience - 64m per week
* includes staff in commercial endeavours and BBC World Service
Sources: BBC Annual Report, BBC financial statement 2010-11
That licence agreement brought with it new financial obligations, including the World Service, which is currently funded by the UK's Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
This funding comes to an end in April 2014 as the BBC World Service transfers to television licence fee funding.
In a Hardtalk interview last month, Lord Patten said the trust was in talks with senior executives about how they could "accommodate the BBC" to the new budget.
"But, for heaven's sake, we're talking about the BBC running for the next five years on £3.5bn a year. Plus the income it can raise from its commercial activities," he said.
"Now we should be able to run a damn good public broadcaster on three-and-a-half billion a year."
He said the BBC would focus on its "core and most valuable services" such as children, drama, news and factual programmes.
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