January 29, 2020
Victoria Derbyshire has taken her BBC bosses to task during a meeting announcing cuts to the broadcaster’s news output. 
Victoria Derbyshire Takes BBC Bosses To Task As She Live Tweets Meeting Announcing News Cuts
The presenter was left “absolutely devastated” last week after finding out in The Times that her mid-morning current affairs show would be axed in a bid to save costs. 
As the BBC gathered staff on Wednesday to release official details of cuts to the news division, Victoria challenged the BBC’s director of news and current affairs, Fran Unsworth. She is reported to have asked Unsworth if staff working on her show had been “lied to”, after it was reported the cost of the programme was too expensive to make “on a linear channel”.
According to Buzzfeed and the Guardian’s media reporters, Victoria argued she’d never been told that the show’s linear audience (aka those who watch the show live on traditional TV) needed to grow, stating her belief that bosses have “ignored” the impact the show has on digital platforms. Derbyshire: You never told me you need to grow the linear audience... were we lied to?Unsworth: NoDerbyshire: Really?.... you have ignored the digital figures Fran— Mark Di Stefano (@MarkDiStef) January 29, 2020Victoria Derbyshire is currently asking BBC bosses if they lied to her and her team about the programme's goals. Unsworth says she is very sorry about the programme's cancellation: "I'm paid to make really difficult decisions about this."— Jim Waterson (@jimwaterson) January 29, 2020Unsworth responded by saying it was a “really, really, really difficult decision” to axe the programme and “would like to apologise” for the way its cancellation emerged in the press before Victoria was told herself. 
As Victoria live-tweeted the BBC meeting, she doubled down on her claims she hadn’t been charged with growing the show’s linear TV audience.
She tweeted: “We were NEVER asked to grow the linear TV audience. Ever. We were asked to grow our digital audience - we did - our digi figures are huge (our successful digital figures appear to be an inconvenience to those making the decisions). 
“Our remit when we were set up: 1. Original journalism 2. Reaching underserved audiences 3. Growing the digital figures.
“We achieved all 3,” she added. we were NEVER asked to grow the linear Tv audience. Ever. We were asked to grow our digital audience - we did - our digi figures are huge (our successful digital figures appear to be an inconvenience to those making the decisions)— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) January 29, 2020Our remit when we were set up: 1. Original journalism2. Reaching underserved audiences 3. Growing the digital figures We achieved all 3.— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) January 29, 2020Victoria also said that ahead of the presentation – entitled Modernising BBC News – the BBC’s Head of internal comms “just said to us all, ‘enjoy and relax’.” 
“‘Cheery’ music in room like you hear when you’re your put on hold…..” she added. Head of Internal Comms jst said to us all, ‘enjoy and relax’ https://t.co/sIs2msVXyY— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) January 29, 2020Fran Unsworth arrives. Approx 130 in the room. Being streamed to staff elsewhere in BBC. ‘Cheery’ music in room like you hear when you’re your put on hold.... pic.twitter.com/1b4H1GHlMl— Victoria Derbyshire (@vicderbyshire) January 29, 2020BBC News has to save £80 million as part of financial pressures on the corporation, including paying for free TV licences for over-75s on pension credit.
Some 450 jobs are expected to go, while flagship BBC shows like Newsnight as well as radio bulletins will likely face cuts under the changes.READ MORE: Petition Calling For The BBC Not To Axe Victoria Derbyshire's Show Gathers Huge Support 'Absolutely Devastated' Victoria Derbyshire Breaks Silence On BBC's Decision To Axe Show The Victoria Derbyshire Show 'Axed By BBC To Save Money' In a statement reacting to her show’s cancellation last week, Victoria said: “Absolutely devastated at the plan to end our programme (which I first learned about in yesterday’s Times).
“I’m unbelievably proud of what our team and our show have achieved in under 5 years, breaking tonnes of original stories (which we were asked to do); attracting a working class, young, diverse audience that BBC radio & TV news [programmes] just don’t reach (which we were asked to do) [and] smashing the digital figures (which we were asked to do).”
She added: “I’m gutted particularly for our brilliant, young, ambitious, talented team - love ’em. And for all those people we gave a voice to. Love them too.”
A Change.org petition has also been set up calling for the BBC to reconsider their decision, with signatories standing at over 33,000 at the time of writing. 
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