Corrupt, Treasonous and Ripoff B.B.C to axe TV Channels
BBC to axe one of its TV channels in bid to save £100m: Announcement within the next month will see either BBC3 or BBC4 go
Director general Tony Hall said he does not want gradual ‘salami slicing’
BBC is only halfway through its £700m cuts programme from government
Jonathan Dimbleby has already said BBC2 and BBC4 should merge
By ALASDAIR GLENNIE
PUBLISHED: 01:47, 3 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:37, 3 March 2014
The BBC is preparing to axe one of its main TV channels to help it find another £100million in savings, insiders have said.
In a dramatic concession to those who accuse the corporation of being too large and unwieldy, director general Tony Hall is expected to jettison BBC3 or BBC4 entirely.
Although the plans have been kept secret while he consults with a team of advisers, the BBC will formally announce the cut in the next month.
It would be one of the biggest shake-ups of the corporation in recent years, and is likely to provoke a wave of protest from viewers.
Lord Hall has refused to give any details but has hinted strongly that he will make a single dramatic cut rather than trim each department’s budget.
Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention this week, he said he was prepared to make a ‘hard decision’ rather than see any reduction in the BBC’s drama budget.
He said: ‘We decided we’d reached the point where salami-slicing would affect quality and distinctiveness. Rather than seek to preserve a less good version of our past, we decided to focus on what we do best: from drama to taking iPlayer into the next generation.’
Lord Hall said the BBC needs to deliver an additional £100million of savings. It is still only halfway through the £700million programme of cuts – known as Delivering Quality First – which was set up by former director general Mark Thompson.
It could cut any one of its major services or channels, with the World Service a potential target. But several senior BBC insiders said the axe is most likely to fall on either its youth channel BBC3 or the high-brow BBC4.
One source told the Daily Mail: ‘Tony is keeping his cards close to his chest … But we all expect him to cut down the number of TV channels. It doesn’t make any sense having so many platforms, and we can’t keep on cutting other budgets.’
In recent months, a series of senior BBC figures have publicly called for the corporation to be slimmed down.
In November last year, veteran presenter Jonathan Dimbleby suggested BBC4 should be merged with BBC2, with the ‘gardening and the cookery’ replaced by quality Arts programmes and documentaries.
Former BBC chairman Lord Grade, who has said the distinction between the channels is ‘very blurred indeed’.
Last month BBC2 and BBC4 controller Janice Hadlow announced she was stepping down from her role to concentrate on running ‘special projects and seasons’. The stations are yet to find a new controller.
Once it announces which channel it will cut, the BBC will have to put the proposal to the BBC Trust, which would then have to put the plans through a lengthy public consultation.
The cumbersome process could prove to be a stumbling block for Lord Hall’s plan. In 2010, the BBC was forced into a U-turn after its plan to axe Radio 6 Music backfired. The BBC Trust revoked the decision after a wave of protests from listeners.
÷ The BBC has bought around £2.5million worth of iPhones, iPads and MacBooks for staff in the past two years,.
They bought 4,266 iPhones, 427 iPads and 815 MacBooks between January 2012 and October 2013 according to figures released under Freedom of Information.
In addition, they are thought to have spent tens of thousands of pounds training staff how to use the gadgets.