Bbc Head Tells Staffers About Cuts
BBC Director General Mark Thompson has officially broken the news to staff that the publicly supported broadcaster plans to cut 10 percent of its program production, mostly news and "factual" TV, including documentaries. The cuts will reportedly reduce the staff by 2,500 and will be imposed over the next six years, making it possible to eliminate some positions by simply not filling them when employees leave voluntarily or retire. Meanwhile, commercial broadcaster ITV acknowledged that a "serious cultural failure" within the network had occurred during game shows in which audience members phoned in votes from home using a premium-rate telephone number. ITV acknowledged that it earned nearly $16 million from telephone votes that were never counted. In a statement, ITV Executive Chairman Michael Grade said, "I've never been involved in anything as grisly as this or anything that's damaged broadcasting as much as this."