BBC cuts online budget by 25 per cent


The BBC confirmed today it would be cutting 25 per cent of the budget for its online services.

The current 137 million budget will be reduced to 103 million by February 2013 and the organisation has warned up to 360 jobs could be lost. It is also likely to lead to around 180 website closures.

The director general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, still claimed BBC Online was "at the heart of the BBC's digital future" but said it needed to hone in on key areas.

"BBC Online is a huge success, but our vast portfolio of websites means we sometimes fall short of expectation," he said.

"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 new strategy for BBC Online will make it focus on 10 areas News, Sport, Weather, CBeebies, CBBC, Knowledge and Learning, Radio and Music, TV and iPlayer, Homepage and Search.

A number of websites will become automated, along with a number of digital radio sites namely 1Xtra, 5 Live Sports Extra, 6 Music and Radio 7.

There will also be a reduction in sports and showbiz coverage, along with fewer news blogs and the closure of 606 community sites including the iPlayer messageboard.

"I know that these changes will be painful for affected staff. But I firmly believe that they are right for the BBC at this time," added Thompson.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.