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January 25, 2011

Unions vent anger over BBC online job cuts

by Darren Allan

Yesterday, we heard the news that the BBC is planning to slash the budget for its many websites.

The cuts are apparently necessary in order to meet the license fee settlement, and they involve half of the Beeb’s 400 websites eventually being closed down. The ultimate target is a 25% reduction in the online budget by 2013.

The figures mentioned yesterday stated that there would be the loss of some 360 posts in total, although not all of these would be redundancies, as some staff would be redeployed elsewhere.

In fact, according to a report in the Telegraph, broadcasting union Bectu noted that some contract staff would be included in the measures, and in fact only 200 BBC staff would ultimately be affected.

That’s still a considerable number of jobs, of course, and the unions aren’t happy. The National Union of Journalists hasn’t dismissed the possibility of strike action to protest against the move. General Secretary Jeremy Dear told the newspaper that “the NUJ will not stand idly by if members are forced out of their jobs.”

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