BBC cuts 5 countries from World Service

One-quarter of jobs to go

The BBC’s long-discussed budget cuts have finally hit, and it means that five countries will lose World Service broadcasts entirely, while in some other countries programming will be reduced. The five are: Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian services plus English for the Caribbean and Portuguese for Africa.

Audiences are expected to fall by 30 million to 150 million. The BBC is looking to save £46 million a year.

The cuts, needed to meet the government-mandated savings of 16 percent, involve the loss of 480 jobs initially, with a total of 650 within four years, out of 2,400 jobs currently.

The BBC in September 2010 had already announced programming cuts that including dropping daily hour-long special coverage of Wimbledon tennis and the Proms music programmes.

Some of the cuts will be offset, the BBC says, by be looking for partnerships in India, Pakistan and sub-Saharan Africa. It also plans to increase online videos.

The BBC World Service began operating in 1932.

Links to other sites: China Digital Times on the impact on Chinese BBC service, Guardian, Rapid TV News, Telegraph

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