BBC News to lose almost 90 staff in cost saving effort

LONDON - The BBC is to cut almost 90 jobs at its news division in the third year of a five-year plan to save £155m from its annual costs.

The corporation hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies and said the total of 88.5 job cuts does not need to be reached until next April.

The £155m cost reduction before the end of 2011 was pledged in 2007 after the corporation received a less generous than expected licence fee settlement from the government.

A spokesman declined to say how far towards the cost saving target the division was.

Today's total breaks down into 49 posts across UK newsgathering, world newsgathering, operations and the economics and business teams, out of roughly 800 in total.

It also includes 18.5 posts in the newsroom, 15 posts in the programmes department and six posts in political programmes.

In the first two years, savings were made by restructuring into a multimedia newsroom and a single programmes department, involving the loss of 321 posts. Not all of these posts have been eliminated but according to the BBC "only a handful" are yet to be resolved.

A BBC spokesman said: "The BBC is continuing to work hard to minimise compulsory redundancies against a backdrop of the most severe economic climate in the UK, with thousands of redundancies being announced every week in major companies."

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