5 live to be hit as BBC announces 450 job losses in News division

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The BBC has announced there will be about 450 redundancies in its News division, with jobs to go at MediaCityUK-based Radio 5 live.

Director of News and Current Affairs Fran Unsworth outlined the cuts to staff at a meeting today. BBC News is having to modernise to meet an £80m savings target.

Unsworth said the newsroom would be reorganised along a ‘story-led’ model, with journalists working across different platforms. More journalists will be based outside London and there will be “further investment in digital news”, with a new version of the BBC News app, which will be “more intuitive, more visual, and with increased personalisation”.

As revealed last week, the Victoria Derbyshire programme is to be scrapped later this year, because “it is no longer cost-effective to produce for TV”.

There will be a reduction in the number of films produced by Newsnight, which will lead to post closures, although “the programme will stay at the same length and timing and will continue to deliver high quality journalism on the day’s events and beyond.”

There will be post closures at 5 live “driven by the changing listening habits of the audience and demand for digital content”. Prolific North understands there will be 12 job losses on the station's news team, but that two new digital journalists will be recruited, meaning a net loss of 10 jobs.

This represents less than 10% of the station's news staff. 

A BBC spokesperson said: “These changes are part of a wider announcement affecting all of BBC News. When making these difficult decisions we have focused on reflecting changing listener habits and maximising the growing demand for our digital content.”

One of these jobs is based in London. So nine jobs in Salford. Out of 4000 BBC staff on site at MediaCity. 

World Update on World Service English will be closed, along with other schedule changes, and there will be changes to Asian language services, and there will be “a review of the number of presenters we have and how they work”.

Unsworth said: “The BBC has to face up to the changing way audiences are using us. We have to adapt and ensure we continue to be the world’s most trusted news organisation, but crucially, one which is also relevant for the people we are not currently reaching.

“We need to reshape BBC News for the next decade in a way which saves substantial amounts of money. We are spending too much of our resources on traditional linear broadcasting and not enough on digital.

“Our duty as a publicly funded broadcaster is to inform, educate, and entertain every citizen. But there are many people in this country that we are not serving well enough.

“I believe that we have a vital role to play locally, nationally and internationally. In fact, we are fundamental to contributing to a healthy democracy in the UK and around the world. If we adapt we can continue to be the most important news organisation in the world.”