The British Broadcasting Corporation is scrambling to cut costs – not least through redundancies – after finding its budget figures do not add up.
The publicly funded BBC is in the second year of a seven-year budgetary cycle. However, close examination of spending plans for the third and fourth years has revealed something of a black hole – a deficit of around £200 million ($315m; €314m).
The news has sent the Corporation into frantic cost-cutting mode, with some departments ordered to stop hiring.
Worst hit is the news and current affairs division, where the projected shortfall reportedly stands at £15m. A planned recruitment drive is to be cancelled, while existing staff have received an email asking for voluntary redundancies. Compulsory layoffs are said to remain a distinct possibility.
A BBC spokesman played down the moves, saying the cuts were intended to improve efficiency and were “in no way radical”.
Data sourced from: MediaGuardian.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff