NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear has pledged to back a campaign by trade unionists and licence payers opposing the £600 million cuts proposed by the BBC today. It follows BBC director-general Mark Thompson's confirmation of BBC's proposals to seek the £600m in cost savings through the closure of BBC6 Music, BBC Asian Network, halving the size of the BBC's website, shedding 25% of its website staff and a quarter of their online budget.
Dear said: "In confirming these proposals today, Mark Thompson has put BBC management on a collision course - not just with us and the hundreds of BBC staff who face losing their jobs, but with licence fee payers up and down the country.
"BBC management's strategy of desperate, hopeful, self-sacrifice is fundamentally flawed. Far from convincing an incoming government or commercial rivals that the BBC should now be left well alone, their self-harming approach will only encourage commercial media operations to demand more cuts.
"Public outrage at the proposed cuts has been overwhelming. A 'Save BBC6 Music' Facebook group has gained almost 90,000 members in just a few days and group members have appealed to us and other BBC unions to organise a joint demonstration. We've seen an increase in requests for membership from BBC staff right across the country.
"The unions will be meeting Mark Thompson on Wednesday morning at 11am, where we will make it clear that the proposal to jettison huge amounts of valuable public service output, with hundreds of staff losing their jobs in the process, will be opposed. We cannot stand by and watch staff and outstanding public service content sacrificed at to satisfy the demands of Rupert Murdoch and other commercial interests." BBC Strategy Review summary
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