Feeds

BBC One and bureaucracy spared in Auntie cuts

2,000 Beebsters face axe in £700m savings plan

Security for virtualized datacentres

The BBC has safeguarded Radio 4 and BBC One from moves to slash £700m from its £5bn annual budget, but it will axe a further 2,000 jobs.

Director General Mark Thompson made good on his pledge not to ditch any specific services – but BBC supporters and critics alike will be disappointed that the top-heavy bureaucracy isn’t being radically restructured. Without that reform, talent will be lost – especially at World Service. The additional redundancies were announced today.

The licence fee settlement agreed late last year froze the telly tax, the revenue device that provides the BBC with most of its income. This effectively means a 16 per cent funding cut. The Corporation also took on the historically unique BBC World Service, which was previously funded by the Foreign Office.

More than a fifth of the population never watches BBC One, a rising proportion, yet the channel swallows an astronomical £1.4bn, more than a third of the £3.4bn licence fee. The beast has been spared going on a diet: with just 3 per cent cuts. Instead, the axe falls on BBC2 daytime output (BBC2 will be all repeats now during the day), while the sport department will lose 15 per cent of its budget, and foreign drama acquisitions will be curbed.

Radio 4’s relatively paltry £109m budget is protected, in real terms, as cuts will be made to live music events and other radio channels. Arguably the popular Radio 2, which produces high quality documentaries and features, fulfills the Reithian mission far more effectively than the old Home Service.

Cuts to the BBC’s online output were announced at the start of the year, and haven’t been amended.

BBC employment numbers

2001 was a very good year for Beeboid recruitment. Source: FOIA

At least another thousand staff will move to new facilities in Salford, which has already cost the corporation £1bn. The inexplicable budget channel BBC3 (suggestions for other names welcome) will also be heading north, where rumour has it the BBC TV overlord – Jana Bennett – was overheard asking:

Can I be terribly London and have a cappuccino?

“It should still be possible to run an outstanding broadcaster on £3.5bn a year,” said BBC Trust chairman Chris Patten.

Actually, it’s almost £4.5bn, quite a bit more when you add in BBC WorldWide, which licenses global hits like Top Gear and includes publishing and merchandising. Arguably, that should be much more – the margins are embarrassingly low – but historically the BBC is skilled at extracting settlements from government, rather than commercial inventiveness. ®

Bootnote

For the BBC's accounts, start here; a list of finance and employment related FOIA requests received throughout the year can be found here.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.