BBC looks to scale back popular regional news shows including Inside Out to save money

Telegraph reporters
BBC looks to scale back popular regional news shows including Inside Out to save money

The BBC is looking to scale back its popular regional news shows including Inside Out to save money.

The BBC is looking to cut its local news output across England in order to reduce costs.

All regional programming in England will be reviewed, with Inside Out, which broadcasts 11 different local current affairs shows in a primetime slot on BBC One, at risk.

Inside Out was due to return in September, but the autumn series has now been cancelled.

The future of the BBC’s regional political debate programmes shown on Sunday mornings is also being considered as part of the review, the Guardian has reported, with the corporation needing to consult regulator Ofcom on changes to its operating licence to enable them to take place.

The Covid-19 crisis has left a £125 million hole in the BBC’s finances. Licence fee income is down as enforcement has been suspended, and payments from the over-75s were due to begin on June 1 but have been postponed. Income from BBC Studios has also taken a hit.

It comes at the Telegraph reported earlier this month that BBC Four presenters are campaigning to save the broadcast channel as executives have privately conceded that this year will be its last. Officially, the BBC has denied that the channel will close.

Sally Joynson, chief executive of industry group Screen Yorkshire, told the Guardian she would be asking the BBC for more details on the proposed changes and the impact on jobs.

She said: “Inside Out remains consistently strong in terms of audience figures.

“Tony Hall on Sunday was talking about the importance of nations and regions representation, but it’s very concerning that one of the few remaining programmes that delivers on that agenda is under review.

“This isn’t just about Yorkshire; it’s about regional broadcasting across the country.”

A BBC spokesperson said the corporation needed to prioritise its resources and would keep the shows under review.

They added: “Separately we are also taking a thorough look at what we do in England.

“This is driven by the BBC’s significant financial challenges and efforts to learn lessons from the Covid-19 crisis.

“No decisions have been taken on the future of any of our content or services.”