BBC to cut websites by half


The BBC is planning large scale cuts in its online, television and radio services reports The Times. The plans have come to light following Director General Mark Thompson's strategic review of the broadcaster's remit and services, due to be published next month following sign-off from the BBC Trust.


Preliminary proposals listed in the strategic review include:

- Shutting down half of all BBC websites and cutting both online staff numbers and the £112m online budget by 25%
- Closing down digital radio stations BBC 6Music and the Asian Network
- Capping sports rights spending at 8.5% of the licence fee (about £300m)
- Axing teen brands BBC Switch and Blast!
- Reducing the £100m budget for foreign broadcast acquisitions by 25%
- Increasing BBC Two's budget by £25m with a new remit to go upmarket
- Redirecting £600m into higher-quality home-grown content

The review seems designed to appease concerns from both commercial rivals and politicians and was drawn up by the corporation's director of policy and strategy, John Tate - a former head of the Conservative policy unit and co-author, with David Cameron, of the party's 2005 manifesto.

Source: The Times

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