BBC redundancies: Letters sent to newsreaders including Huw Edwards, Sophie Raworth & Nicholas Owen
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The BBC has sent bombshell redundancy letters to some of its most prominent presenters - including veteran newsreader Huw Edwards. Cash-strapped TV chiefs have asked some of the broadcaster’s best known figures if they’re interested in voluntary redundancy as it looks to cut costs.
The letter from interim managing editor of news and current affairs Philippa Busby were apparently circulated through a mass email to some of the broadcaster’s top-earning staff. Huw Edwards, who won praise for his composure as he announced the death of Queen Elizabeth to the world last year, is paid more than £450,000 a year.
Other high-profile presenters hit by the redundancy letters include newsreaders Reeta Chakrabarti and Sophie Raworth, Today programme host Nick Robinson and Mastermind host Clive Myrie - all of whom are paid more than £250,000 a year.
It is understood that the redundancy letters are linked to cost-cutting measures announced by the BBC’s director general Tim Davie last year. Any redundancy payments would be capped at £150,000 - a sum unlikely to appeal to most of the BBC’s leading presenters.
One BBC journalist, who also asked to remain anonymous, told the Mail on Sunday that the redundancy letters were “depressing” and added to a general atmosphere of “chaos” at the BBC. As part of cost-cutting plans, the broadcaster has already merged the BBC News channel and its international counterpart BBC World News to create a more digitally-focused channel.
A BBC spokesperson said: “This isn’t about any new job cuts - it’s a standard HR exercise relating to savings we’ve announced previously - and it’s not targeting any individuals; we have to send it to everyone who’s at the same grade. We’re looking for expressions of interest in redundancy, not offering it, and it’s not the case that any or everyone who came forward would be accepted.”