The plans are part of the Delivering Quality First (DQF) programme initiated after a licence fee settlement that gave the BBC new obligations that amount to an effective budget cut of 26% by the end of the licence fee period.
Reductions are also required on the commercial side with close to £3 million of production savings in BBC World News and bbc.com to help offset the impact of lower advertising revenues than forecast last year.
The proposals are expected to lead to 415 post closures – which will be offset by an estimated 195 new roles being created through reinvestment, meaning a net reduction of around 220 posts.
James Harding, Director, News and Current Affairs, said: “Taking nearly £50 million out of a well-run organisation that provides high quality news services that are trusted, relied upon and used by millions of people is an extremely difficult undertaking. The challenge is how to make BBC News even better, despite having less money.
In the Newsroom proposals include increased sharing of production teams and international programming by the BBC News Channel and BBC World News; a move to single-headed presentation on the BBC News Channel; combining the World Service and Radio newsrooms, combining production teams for the World Tonight and Newshour programmes.
The 20.00 UK bulletin will now be presented as a combined international programme that will also run on BBC World News. Shared bulletins will now commence from midnight in the UK; it should be noted that this is primetime in the United States.
The News Channel will also have more single-headed presentation.
“By bringing together the News Channel and One, UK Online, World News, World Online, Visual Journalism and Weather in a new 24/7 department we will create a powerhouse for live and connected news across all platforms, available on screens large and small,” head of newsroom Mary Hockaday told staff. “We will run an integrated multiplatform operation, with On Demand and UGC and Social roles placed at the heart of the operation.”
£12 million is being found for investment in digital platforms in the UK and enhancing original journalism. £4 million will go into social and mobile news, data journalism, online analysis and an enhanced News Labs team.
In World Service there will be £13 million for digital journalism and the development of further language TV services, over the next three years.
Unions warned of possible industrial action over and above that over the 2014/15 pay review. A strike has been planned for July 23 to coincide with the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
BECTU, along with the NUJ and Unite, will be meeting the BBC next week to discuss the full impact of the announcement.