Britain's BBC to cut 450 jobs to reduce costs

The BBC announced plans on Thursday to cut 450 jobs as it reduces costs and restructures local reporting services in England.

Britain's main journalists' trade union warned that the cuts would have a "serious impact" on the national broadcaster's local news coverage.

The broadcaster said its England network of local radio stations and regional television would "undergo a significant reinvention" to save 25 million pounds (31 million dollars) by March 2022.

"It would mean in the region of 450 job losses out of the more than 3,000 staff currently working across the English regions," the BBC said.

It said the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic had left it needing to save an extra 125 million pounds due to a shortfall in revenue.

Helen Thomas, director of BBC England, said many BBC local services were "created more than 50 years ago, have changed very little and need significant reinvention."

"We are in the age of the Facebook community group and the WhatsApp neighbourhood chat," Thomas said. "We must adapt to better reflect how people live their lives, how they get their news and what content they want."

The announcement, which follows cuts earlier this year, comes as lawmakers in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's ruling Conservatives question whether the BBC should retain its public funding from television licence fees and accuse the broadcaster of political bias.

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