The BBC will cut its online budget by a quarter as part of a new restructuring plan to make its online presence more distinctive and reduce competition with commercial sites.
The organization, which made the announcement earlier in the week, stated that part of the restructuring means closing down community-themed sites, less blog coverage, and replacing forums with social networking tools. Overall they plan to focus efforts into very specific and defined categories — more or less indicating that there was plenty of fat to be cut.
“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,” said BBC director general Mark Thompson.
New streamlined categories include News, Sports, Weather, CBeebies, CBBC, Knowledge & Learning, Radio & Music, Homepage, Search and TV & iPlayer — the category most fans of the BBC on this side of the pond are concerned about.
The BBC News report indicated that The iPlayer will be reshaped to enhance its programming and archived content. These changes would fall in line with the new iPlayer iPad subscription service the BBC plans to offer to fans in the U.S., which would undoubtedly have to be retooled (and/or created) anyways.
So not to worry. Episodes of Doctor Who, Sherlock, Torchwood, Merlin and many others seem to be intact and even getting more attention from the BBC.