BBC announces cuts and closures

Cuts to digital content, radio, and television announced as Mark Thompson says that BBC "should leav

The BBC has set out plans to cut their radio, television, and website services, in what is thought to be the biggest restructuring in the corporation's 88 year history.

The BBC has confirmed that it is to close down digital radio stations 6 Music and the Asian Network. Half of the websites on BBC online will also close by 2013. Among the closures will be teen services Switch and Blast.

Speaking to staff, director general Mark Thompson said that in the future 90p of every licence fee £1 will be spent on programming and that spending on the website would be reduced by 25 per cent.

Writing in the Guardian earlier today, Thompson said that the BBC "should not attempt to do everything" and "should leave space for others".

The review, commissioned by the BBC Trust last summer, comes amid renewed debate over the licence fee, which gives the BBC £3.6 billion of funding each year. There has also been heated criticism of the high salaries paid to some top presenters and senior executives.

Thompson said that the new strategy was not a "blueprint for a small BBC, or a BBC that is in retreat from digital", but added: "Where actual or potential market impact outweighs public value, the BBC should leave space for others."

Unions earlier warned of industrial action over the cuts and closures.

Jeremy Dear, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said: "Public pressure can help persuade the BBC to put its viewers and listeners first, rather than allowing the corporate media barons to have their way and begin dismantling a vital national service."

Leaked reports that 6 Music was set to be closed prompted online outrage, with more than 80,000 people joining a Facebook group calling for it to be saved.

The review could also recommend the disposal of BBC Worldwide's UK magazine titles, which include Top Gear, Radio Times, BBC Good Food and Gardeners' World.