LONDON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- The British Broadcasting Corp. says it plans to slash 650 of its 2,400 World Service jobs and five language operations in an attempt to save $73 million a year.
Gone will be the Macedonian, Albanian and Serbian operations, as well as the English service for the Caribbean and Portuguese for Africa, the report on the BBC's Web site said Tuesday.
The move comes after the government cut its funding for the BBC World Service, which has a worldwide audience of 241 million across radio, television and online.
The affected employees are expected to be notified Wednesday about the layoffs, which are to take place during the next two years.
BBC global news director Peter Horrocks said the eliminations were "not a reflection on the performance of individual services or programs."
"They are all extremely important to their audiences and to the BBC," he added. "It is simply that there is a need to make savings due to the scale of the cuts to the BBC World Service's grant-in-aid funding from the U.K.'s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and we need to focus our efforts in the languages where there is the greatest need and where we have the strongest impact."