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Tim Davie: 'Nothing safe from cuts at the BBC'

Tim Davie: 'Nothing safe from cuts at the BBC'
BBC director-general Tim Davie says that all options are on the table for cost-cutting as the corporation looks to find £285m in savings.

BBC director-general Tim Davie has said that all options are on the table in the corporation's next set of cost-cutting measures.

Earlier this week culture secretary Nadine Dorries confirmed that she is freezing the TV licence fee at £159 to help with the cost of living for the next two years, although from 2024 the fee will rise in line with inflation for the following four years.

As a result of the decision, the BBC will suffer a real-term fall in funding in the short term - meaning that it will need to cut costs further, having already made significant savings over the last few years.

"Our estimate is that by the end of 2027, licence fee income will be around £4.2bn which leaves a £285m gap in the [final year] of the period," Davie told Radio 4's Today programme.

"There's absolutely no doubt that the BBC has made very good progress in terms of cutting costs that don't affect the licence fee payers. We are utterly focused on making sure that people get value from the licence fee and we go first to those cuts where we don't affect our output.

"I'm not going to make specific recommendations now. We're going to take stock. We've got the settlement that gives us certainty that does help us. We will make clean decisions. What we need to do is just get through this year. Everything is on the agenda [in terms of cuts]."

He continued: "People are rightly are worried about what the £285m cut brings, but as an organisation we need to reshape ourselves for a digital age. The media market is moving extremely rapidly. That means you've got to question yourself even if you had flat funding.

"I'm excited about re-engineering the BBC. I think we're in a good place - we had an excellent Christmas, iPlayer is doing brilliant business for us in terms of the numbers we're getting through to our digital services. So we're not just going to put aspic round linear services or say we're going to keep doing exactly the same thing – we need to reshape the business."

Potential services that could be targeted for cost savings include BBC Two (£261m budget), Radio 4 (£83m), Radio 2 (£47m), the BBC News Channel (£59m) and BBC Online (£236m).

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