BBC Online sheds 360 jobs in iPlayer shake-up

The BBC is shaking up its Internet operations, turning its iPlayer into an online hub and shedding 360 IT jobs in the process.

The job cuts come in the wake of a 25 per cent cut in budget for the department which will see its spending slashed to £103 million and the number of web sites it produces reduced from 400 to 200 over the next two years.

At the heart of the plan is an initiative to unify the iPlayer, bringing TV channels, programme information and on-demand content together in one place. iPlayer will also become host to 'selected' archive content alongside current programming, which probably means lots of old episodes of Doctor Who and The Good Life.

A recent review of BBC Online heavily criticised the operation's lack of editorial direction and led to former archive director Roly Keating being side-swiped into the position at the top of the department.

The BBC's big cheese Mark Thompson said the corporation's web sites had fallen short of expectations and would be refocusing its editorial priorities.

The BBC's director of the Future Media & Technologies Erik Huggers recently left the state-funded outfit to join Intel's Digital Home Group based in California.