BBC plans to cut jobs in its Kids' Departments
The BBC Children's and Education department is set to experience approximately 25 job cuts, while the BBC Studios Kids and Family team has already witnessed a similar number of departures since December.
According to Deadline, it has been communicated that the decisions regarding job cuts were made independently. As a result, a voluntary redundancy process will now begin within the Children's and Education department. The affected staff members were informed by email yesterday afternoon, and were also spoken to individually.
Some of the successful shows from BBC Children's are Hey Duggee, the Oliver Twist adaptation Dodger (pictured), and Blue Peter.
After an 18-month review that has recently concluded, it has been decided that the presentation sub-division, responsible for promoting children's content through links and resources, and the educational production sub-division, which will undergo a restructuring of senior leadership, will experience approximately 25 job cuts.
BBC Children's and Education, located in Salford and in charge of managing channels CBBC and CBeebies, as well as online content and educational resources, is getting ready to move the CBBC channel, which caters to an older audience, to an online-only platform. This decision has caused controversy.
The job cuts within Children's and Education are not the only changes to take place, as several senior commissioners, such as Hugh Lawton and Michael Towner, have also left their positions. Additionally, a review of Children's and Education's commissioning practices has been conducted after a two-year period of significant transformations under the leadership of Director Patricia Hidalgo, who formerly worked for Turner EMEA Kids.
The BBC has been forced to make job cuts, particularly within the news department, as they attempt to make savings due to the UK government's freezing of the annual license fee. This has become a reality for the corporation in recent times.
According to a spokesperson from the BBC, they are working towards building a modern and streamlined organisation that prioritises digital capabilities, maximises the value of the license fee, and provides better content for audiences. In order to achieve their creative goals for Children's and Education, tough decisions need to be made to establish the appropriate structure and to concentrate on content that has the greatest impact.
In August, the BBC Studios Kids and Family division also experienced a comparable number of job cuts as the Children's and Education department. While most of these redundancies have been voluntary since December, a few individuals are currently undergoing a consultation process.
Previously part of the public service division, BBC Studios Kids and Family was relocated to Studios last year and granted permission to produce television programs for third-party networks, as a means to increase commercial viability. This restructure divided the team into five sections: Business, Commercial, Development, Production, and Content Strategy.