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Monday, 5 February, 2001, 11:57 GMT
Dyke denies 'extra' job losses
Greg Dyke
Mr Dyke wants "outstanding programming"
The BBC is not cutting an extra 750 jobs as some newspaper reports have claimed, Director General Greg Dyke has said.

In an address to employees, Mr Dyke said the reports in the Independent on Sunday were untrue, and that there was "no announcement about jobs".

"We said we were going to take out 1,000 non-programming jobs, but there are not additional jobs to be lost," he said, adding the move - which has already been announced - was being carried out over four years.

Mr Dyke was giving the question and answer session to mark his first year in charge.

"Making people redundant is pretty unpleasant," he told the presentation's chairman, Radio 5Live's Nicky Campbell.

This job is about programming, it is not about anything else

Greg Dyke
He said he was delighted that of the people earmarked to lose their jobs, about 20% of them had found other work before being made redundant.

Mr Dyke said he hoped that by this time next year, the BBC could announce it had invested the money it had saved in "some great new programmes".

He said he wanted to be able to say he had ploughed cash into interactive TV, the FA Cup and drama.

The director general also said the BBC has saved between 25-30m in administration costs in the last year, on Sunday's Breakfast with Frost programme on BBC One.

He said the money would be used to make better programming.

He also announced further cuts, saying: "We have plans to save considerably more this year, we know where we can save."

BBC 10 O'Clock newsreader Peter Sissons
Moving the news to 10 O'Clock "has been a success"
"Our job is to spend it on the best programming we can and as little of it on running the institution as we possibly can."

Mr Dyke, reviewing his first year in charge of the corporation, said the money had been saved chiefly by slashing the cost of consultants by between 16m and 17m.

"This job is about programming, it is not about anything else. "The rest is irrelevant."

Mr Dyke said the full effects of the BBC's investment in new programming would come on stream in the autumn schedule of 2002.

He said between 200m and 400m will be invested to make, what he called, "outstanding programming".

"We are looking to be able to say: 'These are the great programmes we have made this year. This is the result.'"

It is very difficult to let the Daily Mail tell you what should be in your schedules

Greg Dyke
Mr Dyke admitted he did have some regrets over his first year at the corporation's helm.

He said "on balance" the BBC should have screened the Queen Mother's pageant to mark her 100th birthday.

But he added: "It is very difficult to let the Daily Mail tell you what should be in your schedules".

He also said he regretted using the word "hideous" when he described the BBC as "hideously white".

But he said he had no apology to make about seeking to bring more people from ethnic minorities into the Corporation, particularly at management level.

The Queen Mother
Not showing the Queen Mother pageant "may have been a mistake"
"We must appoint the best person for the job, but I believe there is enough talent out there in people from all sorts of ethnic backgrounds to have a fair proportion of them in the BBC."

He also defended the decision to move the BBC main nightly news from 9pm to 10pm.

"We think it has been successful. We will know over the next year, how successful.

Mr Dyke also revealed that the corporation might become involved in bidding for more sports rights in conjunction with pay per view channels.

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See also:

20 Dec 00 | UK Politics
Hague accused of race 'opportunism'
06 Nov 00 | Business
BBC promises more business news
04 Feb 01 | SOL
BBC pledges more live sport
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