Salmond to discuss with BBC DG designate proposed job cuts in Scotland

THE First Minister, Alex Salmond, is to discuss with the director-general designate at the BBC proposed job cuts at the Corporation in Scotland.

Salmond informed the Scottish Parliament of the upcoming discussion next week with George Entwistle – who is succeeding the outgoing DG, Mark Thompson – during First Minister’s Questions a few minutes ago.

It follows an announcement last week, that 35 posts have been earmarked for redundancy at BBC Scotland, 17 of them in news and current affairs, as part of budget cuts reflecting a six-year freeze in the price of the TV licence fee, agreed between the BBC and the Westminster Government two years ago.

He was responding to questions from MSPs, John Finnie and David Stewart.

And Salmond added he would enquire as to whether journalists from the part-Scottish Government-funded Gaelic language TV channel, BBC ALBA, might be drafted in by the BBC for planned editorial cutbacks in the Highlands.

In response to concerns raised in The Herald newspaper at the beginning of the week, the BBC says news output on BBC ALBA is paid from the TV licence fee and not the funding received by one of the channel’s partners, MG ALBA, which operates with Scottish Government cash.

See Salmond speak here (from around 21:54 minutes into the broadcast).

Please note, an earlier version of this story had Salmond ‘meeting’ Entwistle. Despite receiving initial corroboration, it soon afterwards emerged that he is ‘to speak to’, instead.