BBC Online to Cut 360 Jobs

As part of its streamlining process, the division will shed around 20% of its workforce and will shut down around 200 websites before the end of the year.

 

LONDON -- The BBC is slashing 360 jobs from its online operations in a bid to compete less with commercial news operators, and will scale back its coverage of showbiz news coverage, director general Mark Thompson said Monday.

The plans -- part of a year-long review of the BBC's entire operations - will see the online division cut back its showbiz news and focus instead on services more in keeping with its core public service values such as the arts, culture, science and religion.

As part of the "streamlining" process, the division will shed around 20% of its workforce and will shut down around 200 websites before the end of the year. Most program websites will shift to having automated content and the BBC is also cutting its overall online sports coverage.

The BBC has pledged not to launch its own social network or develop music streaming or download services, and has said it won't provide specific educational services for children and schools.

Thompson said the editorial scope of the BBC's online services had grown organically in the last decade, but that the pubcaster needed to "refocus" its operations within its current straightened finances.

"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," Thompson said, announcing the news to staff.

"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."

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