BBC Vision Cuts: 100 Layoffs, Multi-Platform Commissioners Scrapped

The BBC’s Vision department, which produces BBC content, is axing about 100 jobs by March 2012 and scrapping the roles of multi-platform commissioners, as part of the wider BBC Online cuts announced back in January.

“The existing multiplatform commissioning team will be disbanded within BBC Vision, with commissioning to be run at genre/ channel level,” writes BBC Online general manager Andy Conroy. “This means that there will no longer be an overall divisional budget to spend on individual TV websites.

“Instead, fewer commissions will be made and they will be part of a broader creative process which more closely aligns online and linear TV commissioning.”

Early this year, the BBC Trust approved the BBC’s Putting Quality First strategy for living within its financial means, including slimming down BBC Online to focus on five key areas (News, Sport and Weather; iPlayer and TV, Radio and Music; Children’s; Learning and Knowledge). That is coming with about 260 job losses, of which BBC Vision’s are a part.

Conroy writes: “We expect this streamlined approach to deliver operational efficiencies. As a consequence, we hope, it will be far easier for third parties to work with us (this is the subject of a wider review). Also, we expect to be able to reduce investment in competing and non-interoperable technologies.

“And this will mean that editorial teams are free to focus their resources on providing higher-quality output which will appeal to both regular and new users of BBC Online.”