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The BBC is to cut 1,000 jobs, strip 200 hours out of programming and take CBBC, BBC4 online in the next three years.

Director-general Tim Davie announced the moves today as part of plans to build “a digital-first BBC”.

He detailed a package of measures to cut £200m from the BBC’s annual spend as it seeks to help plug the £500m annual funding gap that will open up in 2027/28 due to the reduced licence fee settlement.

Commissioning will favour high-impact shows, with fewer hours commissioned overall rather than “constantly thinning programme budgets,” Davie said.

He warned of “tough choices”, with the axe set to fall on several linear shows deemed to not be doing enough to drive viewers to on-demand. Local factual strand We Are England will not return.

CBBC and BBC4 will cease to be linear channels, while Radio 4 Extra will no longer be broadcast as a digital station. All three will continue to have an iPlayer presence.

The BBC will reinvest £300m on digital-first content, with “significant” amounts of money going to new iPlayer shows and up to £50m earmarked for product development.

It has set a target to grow weekly iPlayer usage among BBC viewers from less than 50% to 75%.

The UK BBC News channel is to merge with the international World News Service into a single global BBC News offering with greater shared content but also tailored services for different markets.

Davie said the changes would help establish the BBC as “a Reithian organisation for the digital age and compete more effectively on the global stage.

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

The BBC will detail further details of its plans in the coming months, including consulting with staff.

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