The BBC is to reduce spending at its Online division by 25 per cent with streamlined structure for the division and the cut of 360 posts from 1,600.
Under the restructure BBC Online will be categorised into 10 areas: News, Sport, Weather, CBeebies, CBBC, Knowledge & Learning, Radio & Music, TV & iPlayer, Homepage and Search. The BBC Online service licence budget will be reduced by £34 million (€39), from £137 million now to £103 million by 2013/14.
In a statement, BBC director general Mark Thomson said: “I know these changes will be painful for affected staff. But I firmly believe that they are right for the BBC at this time.”
As previously announced the cuts will see the closure of around half of the BBC’s 400 top level domain-names. The BBC said today that 180 would close ahead of schedule later this year, and that the majority of programme websites will be filled with automated content.
The BBC said the cuts will see a “substantial reduction” in the amount of showbusiness news on the BBC News site, plus a reduction in the amounts of sports news and live sport covered. It also confirmed its commitment to engage with the wider industry twice a year about its plans, and to double the number of referrals to external websites by 2013/14 to around 22 million each month.
As part of the announcement, the BBC also laid out a list of the things it would not be doing in future, including launching its own social network, becoming a VoD aggregator in iPlayer or offering specialist news content.
“BBC Online lies at the heart of the BBC’s digital future,” said Mark Thomson, Director General.
“BBC Online is a huge success, but our vast portfolio of websites means we sometimes fall short of expectation. A refocusing on our editorial priorities, a commitment to the highest quality standards, and a more streamlined and collegiate way of working will help us transform BBC Online for the future.”
The BBC is announcing a set of closures and reductions as follows:
BBC Online will not: