BBC Studios, the BBC’s TV production arm, is to cut 300 staff jobs.
The move comes as the BBC prepares to put its inhouse production division on a commercial footing next year. The corporation has already removed the guarantee that 50% of all BBC programmes are made in-house and has begun tendering out shows such Holby City, A Question of Sport and Songs of Praise.
As a result, BBC Studios said it is “moving further towards a flexible model, more in line with the wider industry.”
In a statement, the BBC said: “In some cases this may mean bringing in staff for fixed periods for specific programmes, in others staff will be retained to work on year-round programming. This will also address downtime issues and ensure BBC Studios operates as efficiently as possible.”
The redundancies will impact almost all BBC Studios’ bases, but the biggest impact will be in England. They affect factual, drama, comedy, entertainment, events and music.
There are currently some 1900 staff in BBC Studios. The 300 redundancies will include a mixture of roles including editorial and production management.
BBC Studios will continue to operate from seven bases around the country.
The redundancies follow cuts to back office staff and layers of management that the BBC announced last year.
Broadcasting union Bectu said it believed that this round of redundancies could mark just the beginning of further cuts.
Gerry Morrissey, BECTU’s general secretary, said: "We have been expecting today’s announcement because of the poor license fee settlement and ongoing efficiency savings. However, we are worried that this may be the beginning of the cuts as the BBC starts the process of putting all of its programmes out to competition."
Bectu added that it will seek assurances from the BBC that the redundancies will be achieved through voluntary means.
Mark Linsey, Director of BBC Studios, said: “A strong, creative and competitive BBC Studios is crucial to maintaining the BBC’s role as one of the world’s great programme makers – and we are committed to delivering the best content in all our genres. These plans will ensure we can compete successfully in the future.”
If approved by the BBC Trust, BBC Studios will be put on a commercial footing next year so it is able to make programmes for other broadcasters as well.
BBC Studios produces shows including Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Glastonbury and Big Blue Live.
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