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Monday 3rd August 2020

BBC announces cuts for TV, radio and online output for the regions

The BBC is cutting 450 jobs from its regional TV news and current affairs departments.

Seven of the 20 presenters on 6.30pm regional TV bulletins will be cut, and some local radio shows will be ditched completely.

Inside Out will be replaced by a new investigative journalism programme, which will have six regional editions instead of the previous 11.

BBC bosses are trying to save money (Credit: Splash News)

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Pandemic

BBC bosses need to save £25m by 2022. They have already announced job losses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The BBC has previously said it must save £125m this year because of financial pressures resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 150 roles are due to be lost in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The proposed cuts are on top of the 450 redundancies previously announced - and subsequently put on hold - by BBC News.

The BBC has announced job losses (Credit: Splash News)

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Inside Out

The new TV show to replace the magazine programme Inside Out will feature a single half-hour investigation per episode.

It will be made in London, Newcastle, Leeds, Birmingham, Bristol and Norwich.

That means the weekly show will no longer be made in Plymouth, Southampton, Tunbridge Wells, Nottingham and Salford.

Stars such as Fern Britton have objected to the decision (Credit: Splash News)

Celebrities in protest

In the 39 local radio stations, the "simplified" schedule that was introduced when the pandemic began in March will continue permanently.

The stations previously often had different programme schedules.

But each will now have three daytime shows with one presenter. Any shows with two hosts will go down to one.

Regional morning news bulletins, which were cut during the pandemic, will also return.

While Helen Thomas, director of BBC England, said the 50-year-old services "have changed very little and need significant reinvention", not everyone agreed.

The announcement comes two weeks after dozens of broadcasters signed a letter asking the BBC not to cut its English regional current affairs programmes.

They included Fern Britton, Stephen Fry and Sir Lenny Henry.

"Never has in-depth investigative journalism, holding people to account and reflecting the regional diversity of England, been more important," it said.

But Thomas said people now get their local news from Facebook and WhatsApp groups.

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