BBC job loss fears lead to meeting with unions

Union leaders will meet with BBC director general Mark Thompson later over fears that up to 600 jobs could be lost.

The broadcaster announced yesterday that it would carry out a strategic review of the corporation.

Digital radio stations 6 Music and the Asian Network have been earmarked for closure, and the BBC Switch and Blast! brands aimed at teenagers will be scrapped.

The BBC website is also expected to be scaled back.

The corporation hopes to divert nearly £600m a year towards programme-making as a result of the review.

However, broadcasting union Bectu and the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) have voiced concerns.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said: “We’ll be making the point that we don’t believe it is justified for jobs to be cut.

“We don’t believe it is justified to cut 6 Music and the Asian Network. If they press ahead with those plans, they are putting themselves on a collision course with the unions.”

Bectu general secretary Gerry Morrissey said the cuts proposed in the review are “purely politically motivated”, and claimed the BBC had been “bounced by its competitors”.

Thompson said compulsory redundancies would be kept to a minimum, and the plans would go through public consultation.

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