None of the six names of BBC news stars will voluntarily resign and cut their £1.7 million combined wage bill, one of the group stated this afternoon.
Huw Edwards had ridiculed the BBC this morning by sending letters of resignation to him, Reeta Chakrabarti, Clive Myrie and Sophie Raworth.
Their radio colleagues Nick Robinson and Justin Webb, who present the station’s flagship Today program, also received them.
And this afternoon, Mr. Robinson said it was unlikely that any of them would submit his resignation.
He posted online, “This is a routine offer of voluntary redundancy that no one named here is likely to take up.”
The heads of the cash-strapped Corporation are trying to cut costs by restructuring the news division and have written to all senior TV and radio hosts asking them to consider voluntary redundancies.
He previously posted a photo of him sipping drinks with his mother Aerona Protheroe, which was retweeted by Ms Raworth and Ms Chakrabati, and Mr Edwards stated online: ‘Reality check. A standard BBC News HR exercise (one of many over the years) is just that.
Huw Edwards, 61, raised a glass with his mother as he brushed off the resignation letters
Six presenters and journalists are known to have received the voluntary resignation letter
“A standard invitation to consider applying for voluntary redundancy. Nothing anymore. As my mother says, don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper.’
The voluntary letter of resignation is said to have come from Philippa Busby, the interim editor-in-chief of news and current affairs.
Figures previously published by the BBC showed that the six presenters listed currently earn up to £1,722,996 combined.
On the 2022 annual list of highest paid stars – which shows amounts in bands, not exact pay – Mr Edwards, who presents both the six-hour and ten-hour bulletins, showed between £410,000 and £414,000.
Mrs Raworth was paid £305,000 to £309,999, while Mr Myrie was between £255,000 and £259,000.
Elsewhere on the list, Ms Chakrabarti was quoted as earning between £200,000 and £204,999.
Radio stars Nick Robinson and Justin Webb were paid £270,000 to £274,999 and £255,000 to £259,999 respectively.
The BBC has sent resignation letters to a number of presenters, including Huw Edwards (pictured)
Reeta Chakrabarti (pictured) is also among those who received letters of resignation
There are other journalists or news presenters who receive high salaries who are not yet known to have received the letters.
They include Stephen Nolan, who is paid between £415,000 to £419,999, Fiona Bruce, who gets £410,000 to £414,999 and Amol Rajan who earns £325,000 to £329,999.
The resignation letters are linked to cost-cutting measures announced last year by Director General Tim Davie.
As part of these plans, the Corporation has already merged the BBC News channel and its international counterpart BBC World News to create a new, more digitally focused channel.
As part of that move, broadcasters were invited to compete for a handful of key presenting roles. Ten senior jobs were cut, with high-profile stars including Joanna Gosling opting to quit.
Ms Busby’s letter – a copy of which has been viewed by The Mail on Sunday – says: ‘As you know, we have announced a number of changes to BBC News in 2022, which put some colleagues at risk of being made redundant. , including some colleagues in presenter roles.’
The letter, which was sent out early this month, asks staff who are “wanting to consider leaving the BBC voluntarily” to make an appointment with senior HR manager Tim Burden.
An editorial source, who declined to be named, said: “The email is addressed to all senior news presenters and presenters from the band directly below. Everyone got it on the same day.
Senior figures in TV news, including Huw Edwards, Sophie Raworth, Clive Myrie and Reeta Chakrabarti, have received the letter. It has also been sent to the main presenters of Radio 4’s program Today.’
The Mail on Sunday understands that the letter from Philippa Busby, the interim editor of news and current affairs, was sent to presenters such as Sophie Raworth (pictured)
The BBC, which hopes to avoid compulsory redundancies, gave the presenters time to report last Friday. Insiders say it’s uncertain whether anyone volunteered, not least because the BBC’s severance pay is capped at £150,000.
Such an amount is unlikely to appeal to some of the highest paid workers. Figures published by the Corporation last year show Mr Edwards, who presents both the six-hour and ten-hour bulletins, earned between £410,000 and £414,000, although that was a cut from the previous year.
The same figures showed Mrs Raworth earning between £305,000 and £309,999 and Mr Myrie between £255,000 and £259,000.
An insider, who wished to remain anonymous, said: ‘Busby’s email contains a link to the terms and conditions, which include the rule that severance pay will be capped at £150,000.
That’s a fair amount for most people. But if you’re in your early 50s and you earn that every year – which most of these presenters are – it’s not such an attractive proposition.
‘That’s especially the case if the prospect of finding work in the same place is very difficult. Where would these people go?’
Mr Edwards, 61, received the letter despite recently signing a new three-year deal. Before that, there had been speculation that he was planning to leave the BBC. No one in BBC News expects him to accept a voluntary resignation.
A BBC journalist, who also wished to remain anonymous, described the resignation letters as ‘depressing’ and said they added to the general atmosphere of ‘chaos’. Linking the letters to the reorganization of the news channels, the source added: “No one knows if the new channel will last a month or a year.”
A BBC spokesperson said: ‘This is not about cutting new jobs – it’s a standard HR exercise in relation to savings that we announced earlier – and it’s not aimed at individuals; we have to send it to everyone who is in the same class. We’re looking to express interest in resignation, not offer it, and it’s not like anyone or anyone who came forward would be accepted.”