THE BBC will cull more than 100 senior managers and freeze the pay of its executive board for a further three years as part of moves to reduce its £79m executive remuneration budget by 25%, writes Mark Sweney on

The measures were announced today by the BBC Trust as part of an overhaul of the BBC's remuneration structure that will reduce the £79m annual pay bill for more than 600 of its most highly paid executives by £20m over the next three-and-a-half years.

The restructuring will also see the number of senior managers at the BBC cut 18% by 31 July 2013 – a reduction of 114 out of 634.

The BBC Trust has also endorsed a new pay strategy for senior managers joining the corporation and agreed to freeze the pay of the nine executive board directors, including the director general, Mark Thompson, for three more years.

Today's move comes after the BBC was criticised by both Labour and Conservatives over executive pay.

"The Trust challenged the BBC Executive to review senior pay at the BBC," said the BBC Trust chairman, Michael Lyons. "Mark Thompson and his team have responded with a comprehensive set of proposals that strike the right balance between ensuring the BBC can attract the best people to do the job, while ensuring maximum value for the licence fee payer".

Thompson added: "A few months ago we announced our determination to reduce the amount we pay top on-air talent.

"The recommendations we have announced today seek to achieve similar reductions within our senior management community. Senior managers will see their total remuneration fall over the period, with the biggest reductions felt by those in the most senior positions."

A new remuneration policy is being introduced for future BBC executive hirings. It states that salary levels must show "a clear and explicit discount against the private sector when setting senior manager pay".

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