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BBC slims to avoid cuts

March 1, 2010

Leaks of an internal BBC review show it is planning widespread cuts in its digital radio, Internet and magazines as it tries to fend off criticism of its imperial role in UK media, and seeks to avoid imposed cuts following this year's election.

A draft of the strategic review which has been presented byDG Mark Thompson to the BBC Trust sets out the extent of cuts. They would see the end of the tiny audience 6Music and Asian Network DAB stations and a halving of the size of the BBC's internet operations. The sale of magazine titles published by Worldwide, the BBC's commercial arm, is also included in the draft.

Other changes would limit the sports rights acquisition budget at 8.5 per cent of the £3.5 billion (E3.9bn) licence fee. There would also be substantial cuts to the £100 million spent on mainly US imports.

A 'save our six' campaign is already on Twitter and it is possible the BBC hopes the leaks will rally public support for the targeted services and allow them to water down the cuts.

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