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BBC: Less panel shows and music; more repeats

BBC to axe 2000 jobs by 2014.

In a bid the save £700m a year, the BBC has announced a corporation-wide cut to programming budgets. The announcement is a reaction to the loss of 16 per cent to the corporation's income, after the government announced the license fee would be frozen at £145.50 a year.

The cuts will mean less panel shows, more repeats and less live music.

Some of the biggest changes in output will be on BBC2. The channel which will suffer a 6.1 per cent fall in funding by 2016, with no new daytime programming and will instead repeat BBC4 shows about history, arts and sciences, amongst other topics. Music will also be hit, with Radio 1 Xtra and Radio 3 losing a portion of their budgets. This will mean less live orchestral concerts, and a cut to Radio 4's daytime concerts.

2,000 jobs will also be cut, including 650 at BBC News.

During an announcement yesterday, BBC director-general Mark Thompson admitted that the job losses were "significant", but told them "this is about living within our means", and that key areas of otuput will be protected.

BBC 1 will only lose 3 per cent of their budget, while the children's channel Cbeebies will escape the cuts entirely. Priority areas include BBC1's original drama and comedy, documentaries and investigative programmes like Panorama, and BBC World News, the foundation of the BBC's international reputation.

The BBC is currently in the process of a £400m relocation from White City in west London, home of BBC television for 50 years. The majority of the company will move to the Media City in Salford, although staff will also move to Glasgow, Cardiff and Bristol.

Introducing the cuts, Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, said: "We cannot do everything we want. Some things we would like to do are luxuries we cannot afford. We have to focus on our core services and deliver them as efficiently as possible." He said the BBC "should be able to run an outstanding public service broadcaster" on its annual budget of £3.5bn.