The BBC has announced the reduction of 360 jobs over the next two years in its online operations today, as its website budget suffers a 25 percent reduction.
The cuts will affect the BBC’s website, which currently has around 1,500 employees. As confirmed last month, the BBC Online budget will be reduced by £34 million from £137 million to £103 million by 2013/14.
The latest job cuts follow the corporation’s announcement last week of 54 redundancies at its media monitoring service.
The corporation said that the BBC Trust had approved the budget cuts that have led to the loss of jobs.
BBC Director General Mark Thompson said: "BBC Online is a huge success, but 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.
“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."
Other changes announced today include the replacement of the majority of programme websites with automated content, the automation of bespoke digital radio sites, including 1Xtra and 5 live sports extra, and the closure of websites such as Switch and Video Nation. The corporation is looking to halve its 400 Top Level Domains.
The BBC will also be reducing the amount of sports news and live sport, and close a number of standalone forums, communities and message boards.
The corporation said that its re-shaped online division will have 10 distinctive products, including News, Sport and TV & iPlayer, which will share common technical features. This includes consistent design, improved navigation and the ability for users to personalise and access them across a range of devices.
In addition, job cuts at the BBC World Service are expected to be announced on Wednesday, according to the Daily Telegraph. The division’s chief, Peter Horrocks, has previously said that around 300 jobs will have to go.
This announcement is predicted to have a strong impact on the World Service’s English language radio network, with the World Service newsroom and current affairs department expecting job losses of between 50 and 200.
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