BBC set for major cutbacks

According to a report in The Times today, the BBC is set to close down two radio stations, slim down its website offerings and dump its buying of  U.S television shows.

The report, which the BBC has refused to comment on, says that digital stations 6 Music and Asian Network would get the boot. Also rumoured for the axe would be shows such as Mad Men, Damages and Heroes. More worringly, the BBC’s online pages are  to be slashed by half, with a quarter of  its staff set to get the axe.

All of this apparently is in prepartion for a Conservative government who have vowed to freeze the licence fee by 2013. The belief being that the BBC has grown too big and needs to stripped down. It’s no coincidence that the paper reporting this news is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who has been sounding off about the beeb for some time. His son, James Murdoch, also had a pop at auntie during the Edinburgh festival.

It would be a great shame should these cuts come to pass. Many of the BBC’s critics would love nothing more than to see it brought down a peg or two. However, they should bear in mind that for all of its faults, the BBC is still an outstanding contributor to news and entertainment in this country. I was one that previously took it for granted. When I lived in the states, I soon realised how valuable and important the beeb truly is. Most of the world’s media is envious of the BBC.

The comment piece in the Times is practically wetting itself with glee in the hope that these cuts come to pass. For all those planning to vote Tory in the upcoming election, I say this. Be careful what you wish for.

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