Danmarks Radio to cut up to 200 jobs

Citing a changing media landscape and a decrease in licence funding, the public broadcaster announced an expansive savings move that will also spell the end for a 75-year-old orchestra.

Danmarks Radio announced a savings plan on Monday that will see the public broadcaster shed as many as 200 jobs. 
DR’s board approved a plan aimed at cutting 161 million kroner per year over kroner from its operating budget. Part of the cuts are meant to cover the lost revenue to DR stemming from parliament’s decision to exempt businesses from paying an annual media licence. That change will lead to the loss of 75 million kroner in DR’s coffers. 
DR’s general director, Maria Rørbye Rønn, said that between 170-200 positions would be eliminated.
Rønn presented the move as an inevitable result of changing media landscape. 
“At DR, we are facing large challenges. We still wish to provide public service offerings of high quality to all of Denmark at a time in which the public’s media usage is changing dramatically due to the many new technological opportunities. That requires that we rethink our content and enhance our services, particularly to children and youth,” she said in a press release. 
The budget cuts will also mean the end of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra (DR’s UnderholdingsOrkestret), a 42-person orchestra that has existed for 75 years. 
That move came as a surprise to many, including the musicians themselves.
“We are in shock. We didn’t anticipate that at all. We were called into a meeting [on Monday] and were given the message. It is really a shock for the orchestra and we don’t understand it,” Mette Bugge Madsen, a clarinettist with the orchestra for the past 33 years, told Metroxpress. 
TV viewers will also notice the spending cuts. The broadcaster announced that some of flagship station DR1’s TV series will have shorter seasons, while DR2 will drop its hourly news updates during daytime hours. 
DR employees will also lose their paid lunch breaks effective in mid-2017. 

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Why has Denmark made a children’s TV show about the ‘world’s longest penis’?

The everyday adventures of new Danish kids' TV character John Dillermand like walking the dog or going to the zoo might not look like the stuff of scandal -- if the tales didn't often revolve around his oversized penis.

Why has Denmark made a children’s TV show about the 'world's longest penis'?
An image from the first episode of 'John Dillermand'. Photo: DR/Louise Bergholt Sørensen

Even in one of the world's most progressive countries, the stories of the man with “the world's longest willy” have sparked debate about just what is appropriate for children in the programme's target audience of four- to eight-year-olds.

“We think it's important to be able to tell stories about bodies,” public broadcaster DR posted on Facebook Tuesday.

“In the series, we recognise (young children's) growing curiosity about their bodies and genitals, as well as embarrassment and pleasure in the body.”

Broadcast on kids' channel Ramasjang, the first of Dillermand's 13 episodes has already been watched 140,000 times since it was released on January 2nd.

His extra-long member is often key to the wacky situations in which he finds himself at one point floating over the city thanks to balloons tied to his tackle.

“It's a very Danish show. We have a tradition to push the limits and use humour and we think it's totally normal,” education expert Sophie Munster told AFP.

With some members of the public posting outrage online, far-right MP Morten Messerschmidt attacked the show in a Facebook post.

“I don't think looking at adult men's genitalia should be turned into something normal for children. Is this what you call public service?” he fumed.

Munster argued however: “The debate is from an adult perspective, in which the long penis is sexualised. Children have a different perspective.

“The size of the penis is exaggerated so much, children realise it's a joke.”

The series can be watched via broadcaster DR's website.

READ ALSO: Danish zoo invites kids to watch lion dissection (2015)