200 sites to close in order to find ?34m in savings

BBC cuts 360 jobs in online cutbacks

The BBC announced that the corporation is to dramatically scale back the public broadcaster’s online operations in a cull that will see 200 web sites and 360 jobs lost.

The move follows a reduction in the Beeb’s online budget of £34m, down by 25 per cent to £103m by 2013. 

The restructured online operations will instead focus on ten categories including News, Sport, Weather, CBeebies, CBBC, Knowledge & Learning, Radio & Music, TV & iPlayer, Homepage and Search.

"BBC Online is a huge success, but our vast portfolio of websites means we sometimes fall short of expectation," said Beeb director general Mark Thompson.

"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," he said.

Erik Huggers, the BBC’s digital architect, said the corporation had created "a better service for audiences". Departing Huggers has been hired by Intel to head up the chipmaker’s Digital Home initiative.

The BBC also stated a goal of doubling the amount of website referrals to third party sites by 2013.

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