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BBC's move to cut back on its websites sees many losing jobs


January 25, 2011 - London

The BBC has announced that it is planning on cutting back on its websites and that 360 jobs will go as it pulls coverage from areas such as sport and show-business.

The corporation's director general Mark Thompson admitted the corporation's online activities "grew like Topsy" over the years as he announced the scaling back.

The moves are set to hit hard minority sports fans with the corporation saying it will virtually pull out of covering sports that it does not own rights to. It is also closing its sports news video bulletin and the 606 website.

There will also be the closure of services such as youth-orientated BBC Switch and Video Nation as well as well as a range of blogs, message-boards and forums. Local sites will also remove local listings information.

Unions warned the BBC against compulsory redundancies raising fears of industrial action over the job losses.

But while the cutting of half of the BBC's 400 stand-alone websites sounds dramatic, a great number of the content going is for old TV shows that hardly anyone looks at any more.

Dedicated programme websites will be slashed back except for only the biggest shows such as EastEnders and Doctor Who.

"BBC Online is a huge success but our vast portfolio of websites means we sometimes fall short of expectation," the Daily Mail quoted Thompson as saying.

"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 stated.

BBC executive Roly Keating said it aimed to close around half of the 400 stand-alone websites and web pages set up previously.

"We just don't need them," he added.The job losses include 70 journalism positions, 24 in sport and round 90 in BBC Vision.

ANI

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