Newsbeat, BBC Food, and News Magazine will close as part of £15m cuts, BBC confirms

'The internet requires the BBC to redefine itself, but not its mission'

Oliver Wright
Political Editor
Tuesday 17 May 2016 11:39

The BBC is to shut down its food and Newsbeat websites as part of plans to save £15 million and address criticism that the Corporation is unfairly competing with commercial online publishers.

The plans will mean that around 11,000 recipes will disappear from BBC sites – and, in future, recipes linked to programme will only be available for a month after transmission.

But the corporation was forced to admit that rather than being deleted the recipes would only be archived – and would still be available for people to search for.

BBC changes revealed

Under the plans unveiled by the BBC:

- The BBC’s popular online News Magazine that focuses on longer news and lifestyle features will close.

- Digital radio social media activity and additional programme content that is not core to services will be cut back.

- iWonder, a site which answers people’s questions about a range of subjects, will also shut as will the BBC Radio One’s Newsbeat site with its output integrated into BBC News Online.

- Travel news will still be available online but the Travel site will close and development halted of the BBC Travel app.

On top of this the BBC’s Food website will close although BBC Worldwide’s Good Food site will remain.

James Harding, Director of BBC News & Current Affairs, who carried out the review into the Corporation’s internet strategy, said in future its web offering should be more in line with its central mission.

“The internet requires the BBC to redefine itself, but not its mission,” he said.

“The BBC’s purpose online is to provide a distinctive public service that informs, educates and entertains.

“The Review sets out what we want to be famous for online: trusted news; the place where children come to learn and play; high quality entertainment; live sports coverage and sports news; arts and culture, history and science; and historic moments, national events.

“We will stop doing some things where we’re duplicating our work, for example on food, and scale back services, such as travel, where there are bigger, better-resourced services in the market.”

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