The BBC News brain drain appears far from over – with top talent including Fiona Bruce, Huw Edwards, Charlie Stayt and Victoria Derbyshire said to be looking elsewhere.
It follows funding cuts, pay decreases and rows over impartiality at the under-fire Beeb.
A source at a rival broadcaster said: “There is a constant stream of agents calling. Pay deals are being squeezed hard and the money is part of it but the problem’s bigger than that. There are so many putting out feelers.”
The BBC has already been rocked by the departures of Andrew Marr, Emily Maitlis and Jon Sopel, plus BBC Breakfast presenter Dan Walker.
Maitlis left after a rap for expressing opinions on social media, and Marr said he was “keen to get my own voice back” when he quit for Global last year.
Their exits, along with several others last year, are thought to have saved the BBC £2million in wages.
But a bid by ITV ’s Good Morning Britain to poach Amol Rajan as replacement for Piers Morgan was foiled by BBC bosses, who are said to have “more than doubled” his £250,000 pay deal.
One source said: “They threw money at him and it worked.
“But the message coming through is that many are fed up at the BBC and people want out.”
The wage bill for presenters has been shrunk in recent years in a bid to save licence fee cash and close the gender pay gap.
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Walker, who left to become the main anchor for Channel 5 News, is believed to have swapped his £295,000 BBC salary for a package worth £1.5million, though he said: “I’ve never been motivated by money.”
Other BBC staff reportedly feeling restless include Mishal Husain, who lost out to Laura Kuenssberg as replacement for Marr on BBC1’s Sunday Morning.
Presenters’ wages have been shrunk in recent years to close the gender pay gap and save licence fee cash.
Another source at the rival broadcaster said representatives for Bruce, 58, Derbyshire, 53, Edwards, 60, and Stayt, 59, had all been in contact. Agents for the four did not respond to requests for a comment yesterday. The BBC would not comment.
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