BBC World Service to axe 650 jobs

With the BBC announcing it was cutting its web operation on Monday with 200 jobs lost it is the turn of the BBC World Service today, which is to lose 650 jobs or a quarter of its number.

The cuts come as the government removes Foreign and Common Wealth Office aid funding funding as of 214 as part of its budget cuts.

The cuts will mean five of the BBC’s World Service language services will close in an effort to save £46m a year.

The BBC said that staff are to be informed of the redundancy details today. The 650 job cuts will leave the World Service with a workforce of around 1,800.

The language services to be axed are the Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian services along with the English for the Caribbean and Portuguese for Africa.

Peter Horrocks, BBC Global News Director, said: “These closures are not a reflection on the performance of individual services or programmes. They are all extremely important to their audiences and to the BBC.

“It is simply that there is a need to make savings due to the scale of the cuts to the World Service’s Grant-in-Aid funding from the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office and we need to focus our efforts in the languages where there is the greatest need and where we have the strongest impact.”