BBC pulls local morning TV broadcasts as ‘pandemic’ leads to staff shortage | BBC

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BBC pulls local morning TV broadcasts as ‘pandemic’ leads to staff shortage | BBC

the BBC It made the unusual decision to stop making some of its local news programs for an extended period due to staff shortages that are blamed on “coronavirus self-isolation”.

From Monday, BBC One’s breakfast program will no longer have local newscasts covering English language regions, while more regional programs could be at risk if staff need to self-isolate amid rising Covid-19 cases.

The radio said it hoped to be able to restart its local morning newscasts from September.

Although the immediate cause of the staffing crisis is the level of self-isolation alerts coming from the NHS Covid-19 app, several BBC staff said the situation has highlighted the impact of significant cutbacks in staffing levels at the broadcaster over the past 10 years.

The crisis has left managers feeling they have to sacrifice some of the BBC’s local television news output to allow staff to focus on the early evening newscasts for their area. These programs are consistently among the most watched on television, and the opinion within the company has been that they shouldn’t be allowed to fall off the air.

Despite this, viewers in some regions can still find the BBC’s main evening news bulletin which has been replaced by a bulletin produced by a neighboring region, while some particularly local TV schedules – with regional services different from the main schedule – can It disappears during the summer.

The BBC confirmed it hopes to bring back morning regional news updates in the fall. A company spokesperson said: “Like employers in every area of ​​the economy, we are seeing an unprecedented staff shortage due to the Covid virus. Aside from a few exceptions, we have maintained normal service thus far. Our priority is to protect the most popular news programs on TV. The 6:30pm regional newscast on BBC One. To do this, we are implementing some short-term measures to ease the pressure on our teams.”

Staff working in multiple regional programs said that Big discounts on regional offers Implemented in 2020 has left newsrooms unable to continue making programs during widespread staff absences, although the BBC also cut parts of its news production last year before the cuts were implemented.

About One in six regional employees موظفين It was decommissioned throughout England, with many prominent presenters and reporters affected.

The remaining staff say they faced greater workloads, while the decision to keep only one host in each region means there are fewer backup options in case a presenter catches Covid or is told to self-isolate.

Some of the BBC’s local news programming has already been shared across newsrooms due to staff shortages, with viewers in Cambridge and Norwich being shown the same half-hour evening newscast this week.

Although regular regional English language updates will be removed from the BBC Breakfast show, viewers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will continue to watch posts for their regions.

Despite reporting healthy viewing numbers and high levels of viewer confidence in its regional news production, the company has struggled to figure out how to Replacing regional programs such as Inside Out As part of its cost-saving plan. Any changes the broadcaster makes to local news are often fiercely opposed by politicians, especially MPs who fear losing a major route to broadcasting to their constituents.

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