March 2, 2010 Last Updated 3:07 pm

BBC reveals restructuring recommendations; cuts to digital content, less foreign TV programming

BBC Director General, Mark Thompson, unveiled proposals that will dramatically refocus the broadcasting and publishing efforts of the UK media giant. The proposals include trimming radio programming, cuts to some online activities, and the possible sale of the BBC print magazines, Top Gear and Radio Times.

The complete report can be found here.

The report reads like an ode to its commercial competitors as it promises to “set new boundaries” to its media ventures, and recommends cutting back on content acquisition such as foreign programming like “Mad Men”.

Excerpts from the report:

The digital age should be a golden age for public space. . . . But digital also threatens to disrupt traditional public space. Fragmentation of audiences and consumption is weakening traditional media business models, including their ability to support quality content, from international newsgathering to indigenous drama and comedy. Traditional subsidies that enabled commercially funded broadcasters to make socially and culturally valuable content are failing. When, as a result, a piece of valuable content is lost—consider, for instance, the ending of The South Bank Show—the effects are multiple: audiences lose a precious connection to the arts world; the UK television industry loses an important documentary platform; but at the same time, many artists and cultural institutions lose a significant pathway to the public. Public space is diminished…

Doing fewer things better means, on this strategy, significant changes to the BBC’s service portfolio:
Focusing the BBC’s website on the five content priorities
• Halving the number of sections on the site and improving its quality by closing lower- performing sites and consolidating the rest
• Spending 25% lesson the site per year by 2013
• Turning the site in to a window on the web by providing at least on external link on every
page and doubling monthly ‘click-throughs’ to external sites

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