The BBC has confirmed that the BBC Asian Network has not directly been impacted by the recent job cuts.
As a part of a cost-cutting exercise and a strategy to modernise its newsroom, the BBC announced on Wednesday that it will be shedding 520 jobs at BBC News – That’s 70 more than the 450 announced in January. This will include senior management posts.
The BBC Asian Network, which switched to simulcasting ‘Newsbeat’ with BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, will continue to share bulletins with its sister services.
A spokesperson from BBC News told BizAsiaLive.com, “At the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, BBC News streamlined services to ensure it was keeping news on air with reduced staff numbers. This involved joint bulletins from Newsbeat and the Asian Network, which will continue for the immediate future. We’re working through our modernisation plans in stages and no long-term decisions have been taken. No job cuts have been announced for Asian Network News but like the rest of BBC News we are planning how best to shape our coverage, team and resources.”
Meanwhile, BBC News has made huge operational changes to keep vital news services on air. During the pandemic, the proposals were paused, and will now be implemented in stages.
Director of BBC News and Current Affairs, Fran Unsworth, says, “Covid-19 has changed all of our lives. We are still covering the most challenging story of our lifetimes. During this crisis audiences have turned to BBC News in their millions and I’m incredibly proud of what we, as a team, have been able to achieve.
“But if we don’t make changes, we won’t be sustainable. This crisis has led us to re-evaluate exactly how we operate as an organisation. And our operation has been underpinned by the principles we set out earlier this year – fewer stories, more targeted and with more impact. We’re aiming to reach everyone, every day. For BBC News to thrive, and for us to continue to serve all our audiences, we have to change.”
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