BBC to close CBBC and BBC Four As Linear Channels – Deadline

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The BBC has announced it will be laying off up to 1,000 staff over the next few years while shutting down smaller but popular linear channels such as children’s channel CBBC and BBC Four. The move comes as chief executive Tim Davie outlined initial plans for how the BBC will save around £1.5bn ($2bn) over the next few years from the license fee freeze imposed by the BBC. government over the next two years.

The public broadcaster has also revealed that it will be merging its BBC World News and BBC News Channel into one 24-hour television channel as it will push hard to digitize its business over the next few years. Its Radio 4 station would move online to BBC sounds rather than through its traditional broadcast outlet.

In an announcement to staff on Thursday, chief executive Tim Davie told staff “now is the time to build a digital first BBC”.

The move will come as a bit of a surprise given that last month Davie rejected the idea of ​​scrapping an entire service altogether, but the executive said there was a solid plan in place to move these channels to the BBC iPlayer , with the ambition to reach 75.% of BBC viewers via iPlayer each week.

The company will increase its investments in its regional programming while making a strong effort to accelerate the digital growth of its television and radio programs.

The first phase of savings represents £500m ($628m) of annual savings and reinvestment to make the BBC a digital business. As part of this, £200m ($251m) will contribute to the £285m ($358m) annual funding gap by 2027/28 created by settling license fees earlier. This year. The remaining funding gap will be covered during the last three years of the Charter period.

The BBC has already suffered several rounds of redundancies over the past ten years, so this new announcement will be yet another blow to staff. Currently, the BBC license fee is £159 ($200), but will start to rise with inflation when the freeze is lifted after two years.

“When I took this job, I said we had to fight for something important: public service content and services, freely available and universally available, for the good of all,” Davie told the employees. “The fight is heating up, the stakes are high.”

He added: “Now is the time to build a first digital BBC. Something truly new, a Reithian organization for the digital age, a positive force for the UK and the world. Independent, impartial, constantly innovating and at the service of all. A brand new global digital media organization that has never been seen before, driven by a desire to improve lives and society for our license fee payers and customers in every corner of the UK and beyond. of the. They want us to keep the BBC relevant and fight for something that in 2022 is more important than ever. To do this, we need to evolve faster and accept the huge changes around us.

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