BBC To Shut Down 4 Online Sites

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London: The BBC has announced it will be closing down four of its online sites as part of plans to save £15 million.

The sites include BBC Food, News Magazine, Newsbeat and iWonder, while social media activity around digital radio and music will also be reduced.

The online News Magazine is due to be replaced by “long-form” journalism under a current affairs banner. The corporations Travel website will also be closed.

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Around 11,000 recipes will be archived under shut down of the Food website, and there has been public backlash against the decision.

Newsbeat’s site and app will be shut down and its output integrated into BBC News Online.

James Harding, director of BBC News and current affairs, said: “The internet requires the BBC to redefine itself, but not its mission: the BBC’s purpose online is to provide a distinctive public service that informs, educates and entertains.”

The move is understood to be part of plans to save £15 million by scaling down magazine-style content as well as local news. The BBC said online services have to be “high-quality, distinctive, and offer genuine public value”.

Over the following year, the corporation will close down its travel site, halting development of the Travel app but continue to offer travel news as part of BBC News.

Local news index web pages will stop running and the corporation will instead offer an open stream on their rolling guide to BBC and local news provider stories, Local Live.

Ring-fenced funding for iPlayer only commissions will be removed, while funding will be reduced for Connected Studio, the digital innovation programme, for digital radio and music social media activity and additional radio and music programme content not core to services.

Mr Harding said the changes would allow the BBC to stop duplicating work in areas such as food and scale back services in areas like travel where there are “bigger, better-resourced services in the market”.

He said: “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.

The announcement follows the publication of the White Paper on the future of the BBC, which sets out a plan for the corporation, including maintaining the license fee.