India Markets closed

BBC and Guardian announce job cuts as coronavirus pandemic hits British media

Rebecca Speare-Cole
·3-min read
Bosses have been called on to intervene over an 'unhygienic' basement studio at the BBC's headquarters: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Bosses have been called on to intervene over an 'unhygienic' basement studio at the BBC's headquarters: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

The BBC and the Guardian have both announced job cuts as the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic continues to ripple through the British media industry.

The broadcaster announced a further 70 job cuts in BBC News on Wednesday on top of the 450 announced earlier this year.

It said increased financial pressure on the BBC because of the pandemic means the total number of job losses in BBC News will rise to about 520.

Meanwhile, the Guardian has announced plans to cut up to 180 jobs in both editorial and commercial roles.

The newspaper said on Wednesday that proposals could affect up to 180 jobs – 70 in editorial departments and 110 in departments such as advertising, Guardian Jobs, marketing roles, and the Guardian Live events business.

Director of BBC News and Current Affairs Fran Unsworth said: “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.”

The Guardian's editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, and the Guardian Media Group chief executive, Annette Thomas, said in a joint statement to staff that the pandemic had created an “unsustainable financial outlook for the Guardian”.

Revenues are expected to be down by more than £25 million on the year’s budget.

They said Guardian Media Group, the parent company of the Guardian and the Observer, was facing “unsustainable annual losses in future years unless we take decisive action” to reduce costs.

The pair said they remained committed to keeping the Guardian's free-to-read website without putting up a paywall.

Instead, they will concentrate on the Guardian’s digital growth and focus on its reader revenue model, they added.

“Despite the pressures that coronavirus has placed on our business, our unique reader relationship model has proved successful, and the strategy of the past few years has been the right one,” they said.

Read more

Johnson accused of 'nonsense' at PMQs over second wave fears- LIVE

Root to return for England against West Indies as Joe Denly dropped

China attacks Britain for "dumping" Huawei, warns of investment fall

Brentford vs Preston: Early team news and build-up – LIVE!

Heard was 'antagoniser' in Depp relationship, court hears- LIVE