BBC, Guardian to Cut Hundreds of Jobs in Media Industry Squeeze

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The BBC and Guardian are to cut hundreds of jobs in a sign that the coronavirus pandemic is hurting U.K. media organizations.

The BBC said 520 jobs would be lost in its news division, 70 more than originally announced in January. BBC News will employ fewer reporters, while those who remain will focus more on original journalism and cross-platform output, the corporation said in a statement. Business coverage will be folded more often into regular programming.

The cuts are part of a newsroom restructuring plan originally intended to ensure the publicly funded broadcaster saved 80 million pounds ($101 million) by 2022. In April, the BBC reported that it needed to save 125 million pounds this year as a result of the pandemic.

Guardian Media Group, publisher of the Guardian newspaper, announced plans to cut 180 jobs, including 70 editorial positions. Editor-in-Chief Katharine Viner and Guardian Media Group Chief Executive Officer Annette Thomas said the pandemic had resulted in an “unsustainable financial outlook,” the Guardian reported. Revenue is expected to fall by almost 25 million pounds compared to the 2020 budget, the paper said.

Viner and Thomas said they remain committed to keeping the Guardian outside a digital paywall, instead concentrating on growing audiences and boosting membership revenue.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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