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.