Job cuts at BBC Scotland

APPLICATIONS are being sought for voluntary redundancy packages at BBC Scotland, with a net 74 posts set to go as part of a five-year cost-cutting strategy.

Staff have been informed that 100 posts are to be axed, with 26 new ones created, as BBC Scotland embarks on ‘re-prioritisation plans’, announced in October.

The plans follow the BBC failing to secure as big a licence fee from the Westminster government as it would have liked and calculating it needs to make, as a result, savings of two billion pounds over the next five years.

The net 74 posts being axed cover the financial year 2008/09.

Over the five years, it is expected that 230 posts – 210 for Scotland only and 20 on (UK-wide) network production – will go, but offset by an estimated 130 new jobs created on Scotland-only programme initiatives, with further additional expected growth in network production.

The 2008/09 proposal includes the proposed axing of 35 posts in news and current affairs, offset by the creation of 22 new jobs.

Says BBC Scotland, the new posts will increase “on-the-ground coverage across Scotland and the delivery of more in-depth business and political coverage”.

Meanwhile, 24 post have been earmarked for closure on radio, with three new posts being created.

Continues BBC Scotland: “The proposal is to re-align teams to reflect the changing nature of the offering on radio and online. There are proposals to create new stand-alone audio streams online providing specialist but diverse services in comedy, history, and various music genres.”

Also, 26 post closures are proposed for television production, with one new post opening.

Finally, 15 posts are expected to go in management and ‘support areas’.