When redundancy hits online journos

BBC Online: 360 staff to lose jobs

By Jemima Kiss/Guardian

The BBC has confirmed that 360 staff in the corporation's online
operation are to lose their jobs as the department's budget is cut by
25% to £103m by 2013.

BBC Online cuts have been in the pipeline since last summer, but come
as the corporation gears up for far more sweeping job losses across
the organisation in order to meet savings targets imposed following
the licence fee deal negotiated with the government in October.

In July last year the BBC Trust approved the cuts following a
strategic review of BBC Online, along with further cutbacks in the
corporation's web output including scrapping half the corporation's

Management said the job cuts break down across the corporation and
only a small number relate to currently vacant positions. Of 360 posts
to be cut, 120 are from Future Media & Technology, up to 90 from BBC
Vision, up to 39 from Audio & Music, 17 from Children's, 24 from Sport
and 70 in journalism from national news and non-news posts on regional
news sites.

The corporation outlined five editorial priorities for BBC Online and
clarified its remit. The BBC aims to meet all these objectives, and
make 360 posts redundant, by 2013.

The restructured BBC Online department will consist of 10 products
including News, iPlayer, CBeebies and Search. Editorial will be
refined, with fewer News blogs, and local sites will be stripped of
non-news content. Blast, Switch and h2g2 are among the sites to be
ditched. Other closures will include the standalone websites for the
BBC Radio 5 Live 606 phone-in show and 1Xtra, 5 Live Sports Extra, 6
Music and Radio 7 digital stations.

In all, the BBC is pledging to close half of its 400 top level domains
– with 180 to be gone ahead of schedule later this year.

The BBC director general, Mark Thompson, said "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."


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