BBC axes some Online sprawl

Web empire pared back - still the biggest spend in the UK


The 606 site and iPlayer Message Boards close - although 606 has been a shadow of its mid-noughties self for years, when it was one of the liveliest message boards in the country. iPlayer will become focused on "long form video content", said Huggers.

The "knowledge and learning" commitment remains fuzzy - one area of stealth expansion that soaked up millions.

At 25 per cent, cuts to Online budgets are larger than the 20 per cent cuts the BBC says it is making across the board. Nevertheless, the BBC's budget still dwarfs that of many rivals.

Portfolios or "products" will be News, Sport, Weather, CBeebies, CBBC, Knowledge & Learning, Radio & Music, TV & iPlayer, Homepage, Search.

Ominously for the jewel in the BBC's crown - its magnificent archive - the emphasis will be on its use by busy producers. "We want to relate it more to our scheduled output - our big seasons," said Keeting.

The archive deserves better, since archives are a unique skill and knowledge set - nobody can find relevant material better than someone with an archivist with a long memory and imagination. A busy producer or production assistant tends to be in a rush.

The corporation vowed to increase the spending on "devolved nations" - which is Beeb-speak not for Bangladesh or Papua New Guinea, you may be surprised to learn, but Wales and Scotland. This will increase from 12 per cent to 17 per cent.

The BBC acknowledged the online changes will have an impact on suppliers, but not a significant one - and the Trust accepts the argument. It's been hard to move at most media seminars in the past few years for dozens of backroom staff enjoying an afternoon out of the office. Conferences may be more affected than external media or IT shops.

The Future Media & Technology unit will lose 120 posts, Vision 85-90, Journalism (news and nations non-news) 70, Audio & Music 35-49, Children's 17 and Sports 24. ®

Beebnote

Jemima Kiss, a correspondent from the Guardian newspaper website, fretted that web innovation would suffer after the cuts - and when the BBC was under such scrutiny. For £103,000,000 a year, no doubt a few readers would welcome the opportunity to innovate on a fraction of the budget.

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