At least 6 top male BBC news presenters are in talks to take a pay cut

BBCHuw Edwards is one of four BBC presenters taking a pay cut.
  • A number of male BBC presenters will take a salary cut after controversy over the British broadcaster’s gender pay gap.
  • Huw Edwards, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, and Jeremy Vine are among those who have agreed to earn less.
  • BBC executives will be grilled by MPs next week after presenter Carrie Gracie accused the corporation of having a “secretive and illegal pay culture.”

Some of the BBC’s most prominent male news presenters are in talks to reduce their salary following controversy over the British broadcaster’s gender pay gap, a source told Business Insider.

BBC News reported that those taking a pay cut include news anchor Huw Edwards, Radio 4 “Today” programme host John Humphrys, US Editor Jon Sopel, and Jeremy Vine, the host of a Radio 2 show. Andrew Marr, Eddie Mair, and Nicky Campbell have also been named in other reports.

The BBC later confirmed some of these names and said talks are ongoing. A spokesman said:

“We are very grateful to Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson, and Jeremy Vine, who have agreed that their pay will now be reduced.

“These are great journalists and presenters, who have a real connection with the audience. We are proud to have them working at the BBC.

“The final details of some of these changes are still being discussed, and there are further conversations that the BBC will have with others in due course.”

John HumphrysGettyJohn Humphrys.

The renegotiations are a clear response to growing anger over the disparity in pay between male and female presenters. The BBC was forced to publish the pay of its top stars last year and it revealed that only a third, or 34, of its 96 highest-earning stars were women.

The divide came into sharp focus earlier this month, when former China Editor Carrie Gracie published a thunderbolt letter, complaining about the BBC’s “secretive and illegal pay culture.”

Humphrys and Sopel were then caught joking about the letter in audio leaked to BuzzFeed News. The pair were preparing to go live on Radio 4 when they had the conversation, in which Humphrys said: “First question will be how much of your salary you are prepared to hand over to Carrie Gracie.”

He added: “Dear God. She’s actually suggested that you should lose money; you know that, don’t you? You’ve read the thing properly, have you?”

Carrie GracieBBC/YouTubeBBC presenter Carrie Gracie.

The briefings on salary cuts are timed to coincide with a Parliamentary hearing on its gender pay gap next Thursday – and is almost certainly designed to draw some sting from what will be a difficult encounter.

Director general Tony Hall will be among four BBC executives grilled by MPs of the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee. Gracie will also give evidence to the committee following her letter earlier this month.

Here are the salaries of those presenters reportedly taking a pay cut:

Jeremy Vine: £700,000 – £749,999 ($US1 million – $US1.07 million)

John Humphrys: £600,000 – £649,000

Huw Edwards: £550,000 – £599,999

Nicky Campbell: £400,000 – £449,000

Andrew Marr: £400,000 – £449,000

Eddie Mair: £300,000 – £349,999

Jon Sopel: £200,000 – £249,999

Update: The BBC has confirmed the names of some male presenters taking a pay cut. A spokesman said:

“We are very grateful to Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, Jon Sopel, Nick Robinson, and Jeremy Vine, who have agreed that their pay will now be reduced.

“These are great journalists and presenters, who have a real connection with the audience. We are proud to have them working at the BBC.

“The final details of some of these changes are still being discussed, and there are further conversations that the BBC will have with others in due course.”

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