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6 male BBC presenters take pay cuts over gender divide

LONDON -- Some of the BBC's highest-paid male broadcasters have agreed to take a pay cut after revelations of a gender divide in salaries.

The BBC said Friday that six of its TV and radio presenters had agreed to reduced salaries, and that "there are further conversations that the BBC will have with others in due course."

The network did not say whether it had already increased any female staffers' pay in an effort to redress the imbalance.

"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," the BBC said in a written statement. "These are great journalists and presenters, who have a real connection with the audience. We are proud to have them working at the BBC.

Vine, Humphrys and TV news anchorman Huw Edwards were among those who appeared on a list released last year that revealed that two-thirds of the BBC's highest earners were men. Many BBC men were also found to be receiving far higher salaries than women in comparable jobs

The BBC's China editor, Carrie Gracie, quit her post earlier this month to protest what she called a failure to address the pay gap. Gracie did not appear on the list of broadcasters earning at least 150,000 pounds ($214,000) a year.

Former BBC News China editor Carrie Gracie. REUTERS

Humphrys, who presents a daily show on Radio 4 and the popular TV quiz show Mastermind, said it was his decision to take the pay cut.

"It's the third (cut) and they have been volunteered in each case," he said, noting that things had changed significantly since the days when on-air personalities such as himself had "money pretty much thrust upon us."

He said it was clear that in today's economy, "there is a shortage of cash" at the publically funded broadcaster, "and it seems to me, and I thought this before the salary disclosures last year, but the salary disclosures reinforced the idea that some of us were earning much more than others."