On Tuesday evening, BBC’s director of news, Fran Unsworth announced plans to cut back BBC News services due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis on resourcing. Changes to the presenter line-up are also expected.
Politics Live, Victoria Derbyshire, The Andrew Neil Show, Newswatch, Hardtalk and The Travel Show have been temporarily suspended. Question Time will move to a new 8pm slot on BBC One but will not include a studio audience.
Newsnight and The Andrew Marr Show will remain on air, but with reduced technical resourcing.
BBC One’s main news programmes – Breakfast, BBC News at One, BBC News at Six and BBC News at Ten – will be unaffected by the changes.
The 9am news programme on the BBC News Channel is being simulcast on BBC One and BBC World this morning, and is presented by Victoria Derbyshire. It’s unclear if the BBC One simulcast is a one-off. There’ll be another special programme on BBC One tonight at 7.30pm – Coronavirus: Your Essential Update – with Rachel Burden and Fergus Walsh answering your virus questions.
News summaries on BBC Radios 2, 3, 4 and 5 Live will be merged from Friday.
Announcing the changes to staff, Unsworth said: “These are unprecedented and difficult days. Trusted, accurate information is vital in a public health emergency and the BBC has a key role to play.
“We will continue offering our audience a continuous news service on TV, radio and online but this will look a bit different in the weeks ahead.”
“Like many organisations we are unable to have all our staff on site due to the coronavirus outbreak,” added Unsworth.
“We are therefore making some changes to what we do to streamline our output to ensure we can work with fewer people and protect the staff who are at work.”