BBC announces plans to axe 119 marketing jobs

The BBC has confirmed that 119 jobs are to go in its marketing, communications and audiences department as part of director-general Mark Thompson’s plans to make savings of £320m that will be redirected into programming.

This cost-cutting could also see the BBC’s £13m off-air advertising budget slashed.

The jobs will be lost from the 420-strong department through redundancies and outsourcing. Marketing Week first reported the possibility of mass redundancies in October (MW October 28). The BBC has said that costs in the professional services departments, of which marketing is one, must be reduced by 25 per cent (£57m). Overall, the BBC is expected to shed up to 6,000 jobs over the next three years – the time-scale in which the £320m savings are to be made.

Thompson began a review of the BBC in June, with the aim of making the organisation provide better value for money for licence fee-payers as it approaches the renewal date for its charter, and ensuring it is fit for a digital future.

Thompson says: “Any discussion about the future level of the licence fee is bound to begin by asking how much of the future we can afford to pay for ourselves by becoming more efficient.”

The review also covers the BBC’s commercial operations and concludes that BBC Broadcast, the division that creates on-air promotions and advertising for the corporation and other advertisers, should be put up for sale. BBC Worldwide has also come under the spotlight, but it has been decided that the corporation should in principle be the long-term owner of the division’s television channels business, TV sales and magazines, with some exceptions.

The outcome of the review comes just days after Lord Burns’ report on the BBC, which recommended that the licence fee remain in place for the next ten years.

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