BBC boss warns talent of 25% to 50% pay cuts
LONDON - BBC director general Mark Thompson has told 100 stars, including presenters Jeremy Clarkson and Bruce Forsyth, to expect contracts worth as much as 50% less than previously offered.
On Monday Thompson used a twice-yearly drinks event hosted by the corporation for its entertainers and presenters to warn them they would be affected by its need to make cost savings.
A source who attended the meeting told the Daily Mirror: "It was very downbeat. Basically anyone on screen earning over £100,000 is looking at a massive pay cut -- 25% minimum, with some deals being halved."
The first stars set to enter contract negotiations with the newly parsimonious broadcaster are 'Strictly Come Dancing' host Bruce Forsyth, who reportedly earned £900,000 last year, and Radio 1 breakfast DJ Chris Moyles, who is on £630,000 per year.
The BBC, in a statement, said: "No organisation is immune from the economic climate and we have to find substantial savings."
After a lower than expected licence fee settlement in 2007 the BBC has targeted cost savings of £1.9bn over the period to 2013.
The corporation is able to beat down its stars' wages safe in the knowledge ITV and Channel 4 are in no position to match their current deals.
ITV has been telling its talent to prepare for reduced wages, with presenters Ant & Dec in line to have their £20m three-year deals slashed when their contracts are renewed later this year.
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