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Saturday, January 25, 2020

BBC target all the wrong shows

The Guardian reports that flagship BBC news shows including Newsnight, The World At One and Radio 4’s Today are to be subjected to the same cuts that have led to plans to axe Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC2 show, as part pf a drive to save about £40m in the corporation's news division:

It is understood the efficiencies being planned include Newsnight being asked to make fewer films. The late night BBC Two show is renowned for its agenda-setting coverage, last year broadcasting Emily Maitlis’ exclusive interview with Prince Andrew.

BBC Radio will be expected to share resources and material across its bulletins on different stations. At present, they have bespoke news roundups.

More presenters will also be asked to work across programmes and channels.

The changes are being proposed because BBC News has to save £80m as part of a pan-BBC efficiency target of £800m to help pay for free TV licences for over-75s.

It is true that the BBC is being asked to do the impossible, including implement Tory Government cuts to free TV licences, but one has to question the priorities and the targets for cuts. Why for example is the truly dreadful and unwatchable Question Time being spared?

Question Time jumped the shark some years ago and is ripe for the axe. I would rather see that programme being taken off air than Victoria Derbyshire.
You are quite right about Question Time. I have been surprised by the number of my friends, family and colleagues who have commented negatively about the programme over the last 18 months or so.
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