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Cost-cutting 'putting rolling news coverage on BBC at risk'

Published 24/01/2016

Chair of the BBC Trust Rona Fairhead said some programmes will be affected by cost-cutting
Chair of the BBC Trust Rona Fairhead said some programmes will be affected by cost-cutting

Rolling news coverage on the BBC is at risk of being axed as part of widespread cost cutting measures at the corporation, the Trust's chairman has indicated.

Programmes and some services will be affected as a result of a "tough" financial settlement, Rona Fairhead said.

But Scotland could be given its own television channel as part of a shake up of services, she suggested.

Pressed over whether the BBC's news channel is facing the axe, Ms Fairhead said "nothing is off the table".

She told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "Everything is being looked at. Nothing is off the table. It's a tough settlement but the executive will work out what it is that they need to cut, the efficiencies will be put, the priority will be on making sure the programmes, stations that people listen to will be protected as much as possible.

"I can't say that anything is off the table, it's not."

She added: "We have been very clear from the start, that everything will be done to improve efficiency but that it is likely that some programmes and potentially some services will be affected."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called for more Scottish programming and a dedicated Scottish channel.

Asked about the possibility, Ms Fairhead replied: " It think we are looking at all options right now."

Earlier this week a draft report into the sexual assaults carried out by broadcaster Jimmy Savile condemned the BBC a "deferential" culture towards its stars.

Ms Fairhead she was "absolutely horrified" by the abuse that had taken place at the corporation but insisted that any recommendations made in the final report "will be done."

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