The BBC’s flagship news programs, including Newsnight and Radio 4’s Today, will be subject to the same cuts that have led to plans to eliminate Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC2 program.
Next week, the corporation will announce that it is looking for cost savings of around £ 40 million in its news division, a measure that will affect even key programs such as The World At One of Radio 4.
It is understood that planned efficiencies include requiring Newsnight to make fewer films. The BBC2 night program is famous for its agenda coverage, broadcasting last year Emily Maitlis’s exclusive interview with Prince Andrew.
BBC Radio is expected to share resources and material through its newsletters at different stations. Currently, they have tailored news summaries.
More presenters will also be asked to work on all programs and channels.
The changes are proposed because BBC News has to save £ 80m as part of a pan-BBC efficiency goal of £ 800m to help pay for free TV licenses for over 75 years.
He has already saved half of that through moves like the ax policy show This week. However, last year, news and current affairs director Fran Unsworth told Television magazine that the savings needed for the next 40 million pounds would be even more remarkable. “I think they [viewers] We will see it this time. We are analyzing our entire operating model, ”he said.
A key part of the cuts, to be announced on Wednesday is, as Unsworth said, to make “the material go beyond the points of sale … [through] share more material in all areas, but that is always something difficult to achieve at the BBC because we have many services, everyone likes to do their thing. “
Meanwhile, after it emerged earlier this week that Victoria Derbyshire’s morning program seemed to be the main victim of the cuts, an online petition was created to save the program. He had reached about 12,000 signatures by Friday.
The award-winning program, broadcast on BBC2 and the BBC News channel, has been praised for its research and diversity. The BBC itself praised her team in its 2018-19 annual report for “taking the show and viewers to places rarely explored on television.” However, its cost compared to its relatively low ratings (its average audience is 223,000 so far this year) placed it in the line of fire, although there are suggestions that it could continue online.
A former senior BBC executive said the corporation is in an impossible position. They said: “People want it to be smaller but they also want to keep the pieces they like. The scale of the cuts that are requested now means that the strategy of cutting salami budgets is no longer enough. Full programs and services have to go. This is the cost of delivering free TV licenses to people over 75 years old. ”
There is also the thorny issue of the cost of compensating unequal wages, with recent payments to Samira Ahmed and Sarah Montague.
In that context, the BBC is also asked to attend more to the younger audience that receives its news from other sources. The BBC’s Ofcom regulator’s review of the news and the production of current affairs said in October: “The BBC is struggling to attract the younger audience with the news, particularly online.”
The BBC declined to comment.