The BBC has announced that 2,000 jobs are to go at the corporation as part of its budget cuts, while another 1,000 will move to its new base in MediaCity UK in Salford as it announces its departure from West London headquarters.
The broadcaster currently employs around 17,000 members of staff, but is to lose a fifth of its annual £3.5bn budget as a result of the freeze on the TV licence fee until 2017, while also having to pay for the running of BBC Worldwide following funding cuts by the Government.
It is hoped that retirement and turnover numbers will help meet the 2,000 number, although redundancies have not been ruled out.
The job cuts will be made by 2017, director general Mark Thompson announced this morning.
The loss of staff comes after a nine-month ‘Delivery Quality First’ consultation with staff, while it expects to have left White City by 2021.
1,000 further members of staff will move to the MediaCity UK base as BBC 3 moves to the location, taking the number of staff based there to 3,300.
Services have been protected in the cuts, with the budget for Radio 4 unaffected, as has extra investment into its children’s channels, although Blue Peter could be dropped from BBC1 competely and aired on a digital channel instead.
BBC News will see a reduction in its budget of £24m, while the BBC’s sport budget has been cut by 15%, while BBC 2’s full daytime budget has been cut, with repeats from its sister digital channels expected to replace current content.
BBC One’s budget has been cut by 3% in all, with daily lunchtime programme the Politics Show replaced with a weekend version only and repeats on the channel rising by 1%, as it will on Radio 4 also.
The BBC HD channel will also to be replaced with a high definition BBC 2 broadcast.
The Birmingham factual television and radio production base will close.
Details of how staff will be affected across the regions are expected to be announced by each director throughout the day.
The chair of BBC Trust, Lord Patten said that the cuts were the ‘best conceivable argument’ for public service broadcasting.
Thompson is said to have finished his announcement to staff by warning that the corporation would be unable to handle a further reduction to the licence fee.
"Another real terms cut in the licence fee would lead to a loss of services, or potentially a diminuition of quality, or both," he said.