On Thursday, the BBC announced several changes to the way it operates and the services which it provides as part of a wider plan to become a “digital first” broadcaster over the next few years.
The changes, planned to take place over the next few years, include the joining together of the BBC’s World News and UK News TV channels into a single channel, moving CBBC and BBC Four exclusively online via BBC iPlayer, and the reduction of up to 1,000 jobs in consultation with trade unions.
The broadcaster says the changes will raise an estimated £200 million of the £285 million funding gap by the financial year 2027/28. The funding gap relates to the license fee was announced in January of this year and will stay at £159 annually for the next 2 years and rise aligned with inflation subsequently.
Tim Davie, who is director general of the BBC, said in a statement that:
“This is our moment to build a digital-first BBC. Something genuinely new, a Reithian organisation for the digital age, a positive force for the UK and the world.
“Driven by the desire to make life and society better for our licence fee payers and customers in every corner of the UK and beyond. They want us to keep the BBC relevant and fight for something that in 2022 is more important than ever.”
Davie continued: “I believe in a public service BBC for all, properly funded, relevant for everyone, universally available, and growing in the on-demand age. This plan sets us on that journey.”
Commenting on the announcement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said, “The Prime Minister is firmly of the view that the BBC is a world-class broadcaster, but like other broadcasters one that needs to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape.”
Feature image credit: BBC