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Flagship shows cancelled as BBC journalists strike over job cuts

Published on Feb 19, 2013 1:09 AM

LONDON (AFP) - BBC journalists staged a 24-hour strike on Monday to protest job cuts, preventing the transmission of the flagship Today morning news programme and several other television and radio shows.

Members of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) walked out on Sunday over compulsory redundancies expected to affect BBC Scotland, Radio 5 Live, the Asian Network and the World Service. The strike was called at the world's biggest broadcaster after union leaders and managers failed to agree the redeployment of 30 staff facing the axe.

Picket lines were set up outside studios across the country as Radio 4's flagship news shows Today, World at One at lunchtime and PM in the afternoon, and television's BBC Breakfast, were replaced by pre-recorded shows.

The NUJ claims the BBC has lost more than 7,000 jobs since 2004, and it plans to cut a further 2,000 jobs as it slashes its budget by 20 per cent. The budget cuts are being driven by a fall in the revenue the corporation gets from the licence fee, which is paid by everyone in Britain with a television. The licence fee is currently 145.50 pounds (S$279).

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