Four Senior Male BBC Journalists Agree to Salary Cuts After Inequality Row

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It is understood that under new plans being rolled out to fight off the gender pay row the that has recently dogged the broadcaster, the BBC's male stars will see their six-figure salaries slashed by up to 30 percent.

Mr Humphrys was later caught on tape seemingly criticising Ms Gracie's demands for equal pay in an off-air conversation with USA editor Jon Sopel.

North America editor Sopel, one of the four who had agreed to a salary cut, earned between 200,000 pounds and 249,999 pounds ($285,100-$356,373) in 2016/17, the disclosures showed. "You've read the thing properly, have you?" Her open letter has sparked a conversation about how to handle the problem: whether to bring down male stars' pay so women can earn more, or whether to raise female stars' pay to match their male colleagues.

Gracie herself first put in a formal complaint in August when she found out that she received far less than her fellow worldwide editors Jon Sopel and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen.

Before she resigned in January, the BBC actually offered her a £45,000 pay rise.

In that letter, Gracie highlighted the discrepancies between male and female editors at the BBC. However, Gracie's complaint was never that she felt that she was underpaid. She still would have been earning less than Bowen and Sopel.

In response to the leak, Humphrys told the Times it was all just banter and mickey taking.

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A report commissioned by the BBC a year ago found the gender pay gap at the organization was 9.3 percent, about half that of the national average.

BBC 5 live Breakfast host Campbell, who earns up to £450,000, confirmed on-air that he was taking a pay cut.

Radio 4 presenter Mr Humphreys, 74, was reported earlier this week to have volunteered to take a pay cut of a third in a bid to set a "moral example" - meaning his salary will drop to £250,000-£300,000.

Four of the BBC's top presenters - Jeremy Vine, John Humphrys, Huw Edwards and Jon Sopel - are to be the first targets of the BBC's clampdown.

Gracie said the BBC is "not living up to its stated values of trust, honesty and accountability" when it comes to pay for men and women in similar positions.

Director-General Tony Hall pledged to close the gender pay gap by 2020, but the organisation has been criticised by its own journalists and by lawmakers for not acting fast enough.