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BBC News to close 450 posts as part of £80m savings drive

Around 450 jobs will be cut from BBC News under plans to complete its £80m savings target by 2022.

Outlets to be hit by job closures include BBC Two’s Newsnight, BBC Radio 5 Live and the World Update programme on the World Service.

BBC News boss Fran Unsworth said there had to be a move away from traditional broadcasting and towards digital.

But broadcasting union Bectu said the changes mean staff will be “under even more pressure to deliver”.

The job cuts announced on Wednesday include the previously announced closure of BBC Two’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

BBC News currently employs around 6,000 people, including 1,700 outside the UK. Its budget after the changes will be around £480m per year.

Unsworth, who is director of BBC News, said: “The BBC has to face up to the changing way audiences are using us.

“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.”

What will be cut?

The corporation announced in 2016 that it needed to save £800m, with around £80m of that figure coming from News.

Just over £40m – around half – of the savings required in BBC News have already been found over the past four years.

The remaining savings will be found in large part by restructuring the newsroom to adopt a “story-led” model, which will see planned stories each rolled out across a greater number of programmes and outlets.

The BBC said this would avoid the duplication that occurs from several programmes putting resources into the same news stories.

However, the changes mean there will be a reduction in the overall number of stories covered, and Newsnight will produce fewer films.

The corporation said further information about which specific jobs are to go will be announced early in the summer.

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