What the BBC Cuts at Points West and Radio Bristol Means


Points West presenter Alex Lovell said the job cuts at the BBC in Bristol, which will see only one presenter before the show for the first time, was a “hard pill to swallow.” She or co-host David Garmston face redundancy or job sharing as part of a series of cutbacks at Whiteladies Road headquarters.

In addition to reducing the number of presenters for the BBC evening’s flagship show from two to one, there will also be one hour less on BBC Radio Bristol.

But the BBC’s regional headquarters in Bristol have moved relatively far from other BBC regions, as part of a national draw that will see 450 job cuts on the BBC network in England.

Unlike other regions, the BBC West in Bristol will keep its weekly regional policy show and a new investigation series will replace Inside Out West – there had been speculation about the total end of the two.

But in terms of what viewers and listeners will see or hear from Whiteladies Road, there will be two main differences, but with a series of layoffs and voluntary layoffs between production crews and journalists behind the scenes.

A BBC spokesperson said the cuts are currently only being offered, and that there would be a consultative process to be conducted, with voluntary layoffs preferred.

The Tea Time news program, Points West, will have only one presenter.

Right now he’s anchored by two – Alex Lovell and seasoned broadcaster David Garmston. She tweeted the news, commenting, “A pill that is hard to swallow today.”

The other big change is on BBC Radio Bristol.

When the coronavirus pandemic struck, the station reduced its number of day-to-day broadcasts between 6 am and 6 pm from four to three, with each presenter hosting for four hours at a time.

This change will be permanent, which means that a presenter and his production team may well lose their jobs.

The changes are part of the cuts that will save the BBC England £ 125 million nationally.

Helen Thomas, Director of BBC England, said: “I am proud that people turned to us for large numbers of reliable news and information during COVID-19, which demonstrates the importance of our local services. and regional.

“But these services were created over 50 years ago, have changed very little and require significant reinvention. It meant making tough decisions, ”she added.

“We are in the era of the Facebook community group and WhatsApp neighborhood chat.

“We need to adapt to better reflect how people live their lives, how they receive their information and what content they want.

“We are going to modernize our offer to the public in England by making digital a central element of everything we do.

Broadcasting House, Whiteladies Road

“We will learn from COVID-19 which will make us more agile and more in touch with communities while ensuring that we are as efficient as possible.” I am convinced that we can develop our local and regional services while improving our impact and better serving our public, ”she said.

There will also be measures to prevent duplication of roles within the BBC, with closer work between television, radio and online news and programs.

A recent Freedom of Information Act request to Bristol City Council for information on media interest in overthrowing and raising the Edward Colston statue revealed that Mayor Marvin Rees had received nearly 30 requests for interviews from around the world, including separate requests. from 11 different parts of the BBC.

“There will be a new business model for regional television news, which means that our 13 television newsrooms are consistent across the country,” said a spokesperson.

“We are also bringing our TV and online teams together so that their work can be integrated. We want digital and television to be combined, “he added.

But Bristol will keep its long survey output – even if Inside Out West is cut, along with other regional Inside Out programs.

A total of 29 jobs will come from Inside Out programs and the 11 programs will be replaced by a new news component produced from six regional hubs in Newcastle, Yorkshire Norwich, Birmingham, London and Bristol.

Union leaders said the cuts would impact the BBC’s ability to maintain coverage across England, but welcomed the stay on regional and current affairs programming.

Inside Out West presenter Nosipho Ledwaba-Chapman with the stolen Benin bronze found at the Bristol Museum

“These are huge cuts that will inevitably have an impact on the BBC’s ability to maintain the breadth and depth of news coverage throughout England, which truly reflects the diversity of the nation,” said the secretary general of the NUJ, Michelle Stanistreet.

“We are consulting with our members on how these plans will impact BBC production and to what extent this will increase the workload in already crowded newsrooms.

“The NUJ welcomes the BBC’s commitment to quickly share vital data on the assessment of the impact on equality and the risk of stress.

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“But we will seek to clarify how the additional 125 voluntary layoffs will be assessed, and we will seek assurances that a joint and robust redeployment process will be implemented. Any attempt to introduce compulsory redundancies will be vigorously opposed by the NUJ.

“The financial challenges are clear – the solution requires public commitment and government financial intervention to ensure the survival of the BBC as a highly regarded and valued institution around the world.

“The Covid-19 crisis has shown more than ever the need for an efficient public service broadcaster and quality, reliable journalism in an age of misinformation and fake news. We cannot allow the BBC to doze in a death of a thousand cuts, which will inevitably see people go out because they do not get the service they want, “she added.


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