The Guardian reports here today that the BBC is claiming that the blocking by the BBC Trust, following vigorous lobbying by regional newspaper publishers, of its plans to sink £68 million into expanding its local websites will cost 400 jobs, 200 of which would have been new posts.
That is little comfort for all the local journalists being made redundant who would love to work for the BBC. But it still seems amazing that the BBC could create 200 new local journalists' jobs in the middle of the worst recession in regional newspaper history. It has reached the stage where Hold The Front Page reports today that two editors and a managing director have been made redundant by Newsquest in York and are having to compete for one new post replacing their jobs!
I remember in the early days of the internet being at a conference at City University when an American asked the man who had set up the BBC's web operation what his business model was. What he wanted to know was what the BBC's profit and loss projections were. The BBC man replied "I was just told to create the best website I could." It's a different world.