Broadcast cuts proposed

18 post cuts across Broadcast in London have been proposed.

Broadcast management have proposed post closures across various areas of Broadcast:

  • 5 Television Continuity Announcers
  • 6 posts in Presentation Operations
  • 7 Radio Trails posts
BECTU is currently in discussion with management on the proposals.

Management have claimed the Continuity Announcer proposals result from changes in technology that will enable pre-recorded programme links to be extended from other channels to BBC One and Two at some times of day, cutting the need for Announcers.

BECTU is arguing against the cuts on the grounds that there is a high level of overtime and freelance usage in the area, and there is enough work to keep the current 15 Announcers employed.

The union is also concerned about the risk to maintaining broadcast continuity with the proposal to cut shifts down to two per day, with meal breaks resulting in no Announcer coverage.

The removal of planning and preparation time for Announcers has also been criticised for having a negative impact on their creative input.

In Presentation Operations it is proposed to close a total of 6 posts, consisting of four Tape Operators and a reduction of two Promotions Operators/General Operators from the current four.

Management claim the proposals result from planned technical changes over the next 18 months. They plan to introduce tape-free production and partially automated captioning from the beginning of 2004, and have a tape-free production/playout and largely automated captioning system from the end of 2004.

Management is proposing to notify Tape Operators their posts will close at the end of 2003. However the planned tape-less ingest system may require additional staff from the beginning of next year which may prove to be a suitable alternative for Tape Operators - it is expected clarification will be given in August 2003.

Broadcast, which runs the play-out operation and produces trails and graphics for all BBC television channels, is due to move from Television Centre to a new purpose-built technical centre at White City later in 2003.

Broadcast and Presentation became BBC Broadcast Ltd in April 2002, joining BBC Ventures which also includes Resources Ltd and Technology Ltd. In October 2002 Resources Graphics (formerly MediaArc) staff based in London transferred to Broadcast.

24 April 2003