BBC Recipes Cut Is Just The Beginning Of Online Closures Including Newsbeat, Travel And Magazine

Newsbeat, Magazine and iWonder are also set for the chop.

17/05/2016 12:05 | Updated 17 May 2016

The BBC has confirmed a swathe of closures to its online offering, in an attempt to be more "distinctive" and save £15 million in budget.

After a public outcry over plans to cut food recipes from the broadcasters's website, the BBC Online Creative Review reveals that the axe will also fall on the app and website of Newsbeat, Radio 1's news service, and the BBC's travel site.

James Harding, the BBC's director of news and current affairs outlined the changes to the BBC website on Tuesday morning, which will be implemented over the next 12 months.

  • Newsbeat website and app
    Newsbeat is the news programme on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 1Xtra, produced by the team at BBC News. Its website and app will be closed but the service will remain on radio. Newsbeat will be "integrated" into BBC News Online.
  • BBC Food
    The BBC Food site will also be closed, sparking a petition with over 25,000 signatures. The recipes will no longer be able to be found on Google on on the BBC site, but can be located if you have the exact URL. The Good Food site - linked to the separate Good Food magazine - will remain.
  • News magazine
    The BBC's news magazine covers news topics in a magazine style, including analysis and longer features on topical issues. The review says the broadcaster will now "focus on distinctive long-form journalism online under a Current Affairs banner and close the online News Magazine".
  • Travel
    The BBC's travel service website, offering updates on road, rail and ferry travel as well as accidents, will be closed, thought it will continue to offer travel news online. It will also halt development of the Travel app.
  • Local news indexes
    Local news index web pages will be removed and replaced with a stream of all local stories called ‘Local Live’.
  • iWonder
    The iWonder section offers "thought-provoking answers to fascinating questions sparked by BBC programmes, the news, anniversaries and world events." It will be closed but its pieces will be "redeployed" across BBC Online.

Other changes include:

• Remove ring-fenced funding for iPlayer-only commissions

• Reduce funding for Connected Studio, the digital innovation programme, with innovation increasingly funded within business-as-usual and the Studio maintained as an enabler of innovation

• Reduce digital radio and music social media activity and additional programme content that is not core to services.

In an email to staff, Harding said: "We will close the Magazine online – the BBC is not, nor does it have ambitions to be, a magazine publisher. We will continue to cover a full range of subjects and stories, but we want to make more of current affairs, narrative story-telling, news features and expert analysis.

"Our long-form journalism is rooted in the intelligence of the BBC’s radio documentaries, the expertise of the BBC’s global network of news correspondents, the force of the BBC’s current affairs on television. We want to bring that work to the fore online."

Suggest a correction