The director-general of the BBC Tim Davie has said that whilst it’s “obviously sad” that three long-standing news presenters have opted to depart the organisation the current level of “management inefficiency” needs to be addressed.
Yesterday, Deadline reported that BBC News presenters David Eades, Joanna Gosling and Tim Willcox have opted to take voluntary redundancy.
The news came as the BBC continues the phased implementation of a merger of its international and domestic TV news channels. The official start date for the new channel is believed to be some time in April, though the on-air launch is expected to be low-key.
In July, the BBC announced plans to merge the two TV news channels, as part of its new digital-first strategy. Over 70 posts are believed to face the axe as a result.
Davie told the Public Accounts Committee: “There is a degree of management inefficiency, in my view, and it is not right, and no one in the world is running completely separate operations in this way.
“Now linked to that, I think that it is obviously sad when people decide to take VR and leave, but you need less presenters and I think that is appropriate.
“Sorry to be blunt. I think we are in a position where we are going to make changes. Some people will leave the BBC, some people will stay. Actually so-called churn in the newsroom is very low historically.
“You talk about three outstanding presenters who have chosen to move on, that gives opportunities and allows people to move through the organisation.”
Mr Davie said he not believe the BBC needed “two completely separate operations” and that their merger plans weren’t just about “digital evangelism” but “based on where the audience is”.
He added: “We don’t think it is efficient. We think it is absolutely appropriate to make the changes to close the independent operations and run it as a more integrated operation. That does not mean the channel is the same. That would be absurd.”
PICTURED: BBC director-general, Tim Davie. COPYRIGHT: BBC.