The BBC has disputed reports that many of its journalists are paid up to 40 per cent more than their rivals at commercial broadcasters, saying national newspapers “overegged” salary reports to play into licence fee payer concerns.
While the internal salary report shows some middle ranking grades to be noticeably higher than peers at commercial broadcasters such as ITV, the notion that this applies to all BBC journalists is misleading, the BBC said. Some journalists at the public broadcaster are up to 20 per cent below market base.
The broadcaster pointed out that what the reports fail to take into account is bonuses commercial broadcasters might get.
The BBC has been cutting pay and making headcount reductions over the Charter period amounting to savings of £150m a year in response to tighter budgets as part of a compromise to keep its licence fee payer funding.
This has included a shaving of fringe services like BBC Food and Newsbeat. The online News Magazine is also set to close as part of a proposed £80m in savings in its News service.
A BBC spokesperson added: “Over the course of this Charter period, pay restraint and headcount reductions have saved over £150m a year, as part of that we’ve cut senior managers by 40 per cent and focused resources on front line services.
“Like any responsible employer we routinely look at how staff salaries compare to those in the rest of the UK industry – separately we have already proposed a joint review with the Unions of terms and conditions.”