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BBC director-general says BBC1 and Radio 4 budgets protected because they are ‘unique cultural assets’

By Hamish Mackay

November 2, 2011 | 2 min read

BBC director-general Mark Thompson has admitted there would be big job losses across the BBC's 40 local radio stations in England as a result of his "Delivering Quality First" (DQF) proposals.

However, speaking at the Radio Festival in Salford yesterday, he denied that local radio or regional TV current affairs had "in any way been singled out or victimised” – explaining the scale of the cuts facing local radio were similar to those being imposed on BBC2.

Thompson said the headline cut in local radio spending was 14% which was "somewhat below average for the BBC as a whole".

"But it's true that the high fixed costs and very low discretionary spend means the impact on jobs will be significantly higher than that," he added. "I recognise the challenge we are setting our local radio colleagues is very tough."

Thompson said BBC1 and Radio 4's budgets had been given special protection in DQF because they were "unique cultural exercises".

"We think other BBC services are brilliant and distinctive but these are unique. We thought it was very important to afford these two things, if you like, special protection."

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