June 5, 2014 6:27 pm

BBC faces staff cuts from news division

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LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 12: An employee walks inside BBC headquarters at New Broadcasting House on November 12, 2012 in London, England. Tim Davie has been appointed the acting Director General of the BBC following the resignation of George Entwistle after the broadcasting of an episode of the current affairs programme 'Newsnight' on child abuse allegations which contained errors. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)©Getty

The BBC has warned staff that it is likely to make a “significant” number of redundancies in its news division as part of the corporation’s cost-cutting programme.

James Harding, BBC director of news and current affairs, said in an email to staff that the cuts were needed to make savings in the division of “tens of millions of pounds”.

Mr Harding, former editor of The Times and a journalist at the Financial Times, joined the BBC in August following widespread criticism of the corporation’s editorial decision-making in its handling of the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Mr Harding said in the email that he would share his proposals for cost savings in July, having taken a “long, hard look” at budgets.

“I am afraid that there is no escaping the fact that there are likely to be a significant number of redundancies – most of our costs are tied up in people so there is limited scope for other big savings elsewhere,” he said.

This week, US business magazine Forbes reported that the BBC planned to cut between 475 and 500 jobs from its news division, with a further 75 to 85 going from its radio operation.

BBC News currently employs about 8,000 people, including 5,500 journalists.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We’re working at present to deliver savings of £800m a year by 2016-17 and we have said that there are difficult decisions ahead of us. Whilst we need to make savings, it would be wrong to comment on speculation.”

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