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BBCWS Arabic cuts not as ’severe as planned’ -
BBCWS Arabic cuts not as ’severe as planned’
March 10th, 2011 - 10:32 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
The BBC’s global news director Peter Horrocks has indicated a further U-turn over planned cuts to the BBC World Service in response to the political crises in Africa and the Middle East. The BBC Arabic service was due to bear a large proportion of the cuts aimed at saving £46m a year following a 16% reduction in the World Service’s funding by the government.
Mr Horrocks told MPs that reductions in the distribution of the Arabic service would not be as severe as originally planned. But he ruled out a wholesale reversal of the changes to its Arabic operations which will see the loss of 60 jobs and an estimated 5.7 million listeners.
“We are sustaining our short- and mediumwave [broadcasts] in the Arabic region more than we originally intended,” Mr Horrocks told the House of Commons foreign affairs select committee on Wednesday.