After a campaign run by the media unions and others, the BBC has announced that its News Channel and World News will remain as separate channels. The news was welcomed by the NUJ who had argued that the two offered very different services and were important and popular in their own right.
Tony Hall BBC director general told staff that the News Channel would not be closed or merged, but that both channels would have to find significant savings. In welcoming the news Sue Harris NUJ broadcasting organiser said: “I would like to thank Martine Croxall and David Campanale, our reps at the News Channel and BBC World and both chapels for their amazing campaign to save the channels and to all the MPs, peers and other supporters who wrote to the BBC in its defence.”
“We are being told it will mean 10% cuts; the union is prepared to discuss with management how savings can be made without reducing the headcount. Staff at both channels are already under a lot of strain because of heavy workloads and the effects of previous cuts.”
Meanwhile nearly 100 jobs are to be cut at the BBC Monitoring Service in Caversham, Berkshire. Staff were told that the service had to save £4m by April 2017. Nearly one in three posts in the editorial and related support services will go.
Stuart Seaman, NUJ father of chapel at the service said: “This is a classic case of knowing the cost but not the value. Users have always praised our reporting on other countries through their media. But all too often our paymasters have seen Monitoring as an easy target for savings.”