ANGRY radio staff at the BBC’s Asian network are planning to hold a silent 24-hour protest from noon today over the broadcaster’s decision to cut and shift jobs out of the West Midlands.
One of the station’s two editor roles will be axed and the popular award-winning Bobby Friction show — a mix of entertainment and music — is to be moved from Birmingham to London.
A BBC spokesperson said that the move was “prompted by ongoing efficiency savings.”
The station still broadcasts “much of its output from Birmingham,” the spokesperson said, expressing “disappointment” that staff are striking after the broadcaster conducted “a thorough consultation process” about the editor job loss.
A National Union of Journalists (NUJ) member employed at the network said: “This mute protest is to demonstrate to the BBC how upset and angry we are at the proposals. The BBC keeps picking on the Asian Network.”
The BBC made half of the network’s employees redundant in 2012, halved its budget, and promised no more cuts, according to staff.
“The loss of an editor’s post will increase workload and exacerbate the problems of communication between editors and staff which already exist,” the staffer continued.
NUJ BBC rep Keith Murray said the radio station — which has a core audience of working-class Asian women — is “a beacon of diversity in an organisation which remains predominantly white and middle class.”
Households in the Midlands collectively contribute £942 million in television licences, which is a quarter of the total collected for the BBC.
For every household paying a licence fee in the Midlands, the corporation spends just £12.40, compared to £757 in London, according to data collated by the Campaign for Regional Broadcasting Midlands.