Tony Hall: BBC annual cuts target rises £100m to £800m with news set to lose £80m a year - Press Gazette

Tony Hall: BBC annual cuts target rises £100m to £800m with news set to lose £80m a year

BBC director general Tony Hall has revised up the corporation's estimated cost-cutting programme by £100m to £800m a year by 2022.
And he has noted that news will have to make a contribution to this by finding £80m of cuts.
The BBC has total annual income of around £5bn a year including £3.7bn from the licence fee.
Hall said the latest financial settlement from the Government for the BBC , agreed last July, will leave the coporation's income flat year on year.
He said: "Of course in real terms, that means a cut in our income of 10 per cent. But the true picture is much tougher, because the BBC cannot stand still.  
"We need to absorb the falls in TV penetration that create an annual loss in income of £150m. We need to cope with rapid inflation in areas such as drama and sport. And we need to reinvest to stay competitive.
"The overall result is that, by 2022, the BBC will need to make overall savings of £800 million a year. That’s 23 per cent – and in some parts of the BBC, it will be more."
He added: "In the next few weeks, [head of news] James Harding’s team will begin reporting back on their three-month review of everything we do in News. They have already set out £5 million of savings, but now they are looking for around £80 million more."
Speaking to the Media and Telecomes conference Hall said the independence of the BBC needs to be safeguarded  by ensuring that the next charter, set to be agreed by the end of this year, will last 11 years ("to take us beyond the next electoral cycle").
He also claimed that a "new consensus has emerged" and there has never been "such collective support for the kind of BBC the country wants and needs".
He said this was:
  • A distinctive, universal BBC, informing, educating and entertaining, bringing the best to everyone
  • A trusted voice in a crowded arena, accountable to the public and focused on their interests, independent of both government and market
  • Bringing the country together in a national conversation and representing it to the world
  • An engine of growth for our creative industries and one of the UK’s most valuable, global brands. 
Setting out the choice the country faces as the Government continues to mull the terms of the BBC next charter governing its operation. Hall said: "Down one path is a strong BBC, helping bind the country together at home and championing it abroad. A BBC which belongs to everyone and where everyone belongs. A beacon of British creativity to the world.
"Down the other lies a BBC reduced in impact and reach in a world of global giants. Sleepwalking into decay, with the UK’s creative industries damaged, and Britain diminished as a result.
"Which means a UK dominated by global gatekeepers, partial news, and American taste-makers."



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Author: Dominic Ponsford

Dominic Ponsford is the editor of Press Gazette