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27/02/2008

BBC Manchester Jobs Under Threat

The BBC has come under fire again for threatening to cut entertainment production staff in Manchester.
While the corporation is advertising for more senior executives in London, Manchester staff are concerned at the proposed cutbacks that that will reduce the numbers of series producers from 18 to nine and assistant producers from 15 to eight.
BBC Controller of Entertainment Commissioning, Jon Beazley, sent an email to staff last week informing them of his plans to employ more executive producers for his London-based department because of workload.
Beazley said: "As you know, there's huge activity across the department with major projects underway like I'd Do Anything, Dragons' Den and, of course, Sport Relief is imminent on March 14.
"We need a couple of extra senior people on board to manage the wealth of work that we have at present."
A BBC spokeswoman said: "We announced job losses back in October 2007 in entertainment both in London and Manchester which took into account future business levels.
"These losses did not include any reduction at executive producer level and the advert we are about to run is for executive producers on a fixed term basis to manage the current portfolio of entertainment shows. We are looking internally and externally to fill these positions."
Staff however, are angry that more top people are being hired while those in lower ranks are facing compulsory redundancy.
The north-west, which remains a focus of the BBC's commitment to the regions, will a major upsurge in staff as the corporation plans to move around 1,600 production and broadcasting staff to its new north-west base in Salford Quays by 2011.
(DS)
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