Broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire has said she is “absolutely devastated” by the news her BBC Two show is ending.
She said she first learned of the plan in The Times newspaper on Wednesday.
The presenter said she was “gutted particularly for our brilliant, young, ambitious, talented team”.
The Victoria Derbyshire Show will come off air later this year as part of a plan to save £80m in BBC News. Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s head of news, said it had “not been an easy decision”.
Writing on Twitter, Derbyshire added that she was “unbelievably proud” of what the show had achieved.
Unsworth said the show’s “award-winning, distinctive journalism” was “exactly the type of journalism we need to continue”.
Some of the programme’s journalism roles would be retained, she said, while Derbyshire will take “a wider role across our broadcast and digital output”.
The presenter will also “continue to lead on some of the high-profile audience events and original stories she has championed so effectively in recent years”, Unsworth pledged.
She explained: “However, audience behaviours are changing. Linear television viewing is declining, and as we progress with our £80m savings target, it is no longer cost-effective to continue producing the programme on television.”
In 2016 it was announced that BBC News would need to find £80m of cuts over four years. The corporation is due to make a further announcement about its news operation next week.
‘We don’t give up’
Earlier, Derbyshire opened Thursday’s programme by saying: “We are still here telling your stories and covering the issues that are important to you in your life. And do you know what? We don’t give up.”
She went on to introduce an investigation. “And that’s why we’ve been back to a housing estate in London after we exposed the shocking living conditions there last year,” she continued.
Aired at 10:00 on BBC Two and the BBC News Channel every weekday, the show focuses on original stories, audience debates and exclusive interviews as well as breaking news. It was launched in April 2015.
Numerous media personalities responded with shock to the news of the programme coming off air, praising its award-winning journalism.
Former BBC Radio 5 Live host Richard Bacon said it was “the best journalism in daytime hosted by the best journalist”, while shadow culture secretary Tracy Brabin tweeted that the programme’s “rigorous campaigning and commitment to the public having their say made it pretty unique in daytime TV”.
She said she would be looking into why the show was being taken off air.
Conservative MP Damian Collins, who is seeking re-election as chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, said reports of the planned cuts were “disturbing”.
He said there needs to be “a proper review of BBC finances” and licence fee payers should be asking what they value and want to see more of.
Anna Collinson and Jim Reed, journalists for the programme, both called the decision “gutting”.
When Victoria Derbyshire proposed a TV version of her Radio 5 Live Show to former BBC News boss James Harding, he gave her the green light within days.
BBC News has a big problem in connecting with some licence fee payers away from big cities and from poorer backgrounds – or, in the jargon, “underserved audiences”.
For Harding and BBC News, Derbyshire – and the show’s first editor, Louisa Compton (now at Channel 4) – were the solution to a big problem.
It worked – online.
Derbyshire’s programme was highly effective in reaching those people, through original journalism, investigations and scoops of a kind that the BBC generally struggles to do. But on linear TV channels it failed to garner a sufficiently big audience to justify its cost.
First it was chopped from two hours to one. Now it is gone.
BBC News is looking to make big savings and re-organise its structure so that digital journalism is prioritised.