CBBC and BBC Four are among services facing the axe from the national broadcaster as part of plans to become ‘digital first’.

In a speech to staff this afternoon, Director-General Tim Davie said the BBC must reform to stay relevant and continue to provide great value for all.

This will include changes to content and services, efficiency savings and a drive to seek new commercial investment, as the BBC manages the demands of the licence fee settlement and looks to the future.

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The plan focuses on creating a modern, digital-led and streamlined organisation that drives the most value from the licence fee and delivers more for audiences.

This first phase represents £500m of annual savings and reinvestment to make the BBC digital-led.

As part of this, £200m will contribute to the £285m annual funding gap by 2027/28, created by the licence fee settlement earlier this year. The remaining funding gap will be covered in the final three years of this Charter period, which is consistent with previous savings programmes.

The BBC will also reinvest £300m to drive a digital-first approach, through changes to content and output and additional commercial income. This includes:

  • Shifting significant amounts of money into new programmes for iPlayer which will also attract extra third-party investment on screen
  • Shifting resources in local output towards digital, while keeping spend flat
  • Making savings in broadcast news, reinvesting that in video and digital news
  • Investing up to £50m a year in product development.

BBC boss explains reason for change with 1,000 jobs at risk

Overall, there will be up to 1,000 fewer people employed in the public-funded part of the BBC over the next few years.

Director-General Tim Davie said: “When I took this job I said that we needed to fight for something important: public service content and services, freely available universally, for the good of all.

“This fight is intensifying, the stakes are high.”