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BBC Scotland bosses face Holyrood grilling over cuts

BBC bosses will face questions over the impact of budget cuts on major events such as the independence referendum and the Commonwealth Games when they appear at Holyrood today.

The broadcaster has already axed 35 jobs in Scotland, 17 of which are in news and current affairs, and could cut up to 120 posts north of the border by 2017.

MSPs will be given the opportunity to quiz BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie, head of news and current affairs John Boothman and Bruce Malcolm, head of Commonwealth Games 2014, at the Culture Committee.

The committee has already heard concerns from journalists and unions that such cuts and redundancies will affect the quality of coverage of high-profile events such as the referendum, Glasgow 2014 and the Ryder Cup.

During an evidence session in October, the unions warned that staff were being expected to work longer hours while morale had hit "rock bottom".

The appearance of the senior managers also follows an intervention from BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten.

The committee wrote to Lord Patten last November expressing disappointment that the broadcaster had twice declined invitations to give oral evidence at its inquiry.

Convener Stewart Maxwell said this approach was "disrespectful to it, and the Scottish Parliament", and meant that its evidence base for compiling a report on the issues of future programming capacity at major events at BBC Scotland was incomplete.

Lord Patten responded with a letter stating that the BBC was "very willing" to send representatives of senior management to the committee to discuss areas of interest.

Contextual targeting label: 
Hobbies and general interest

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