BBC to Reportedly Axe 6 Music, Shut Down Websites, Cut Staff

BBC to Reportedly Axe 6 Music, Shut Down Websites, Cut Staff
The BBC reportedly plans to shut down two of its radio station, downscale its associated websites to half the current number and cut back on American programming.

An announcement by BBC director-general Mark Thompson next month will note the closing down of digital radio stations 6 Music, which caters towards more underground and indie music, and Asian Network, as well as put a cap on sports events covered by the company, according to a report from the London Times.

The corporation, which is funded by £3.6 billion (about $5.5 billion Canadian) in public licensing fees, needs to downsize to give non-public-owned competitors more market share, according to the upcoming announcement.

BBC's Switch and Blast!, which cater to the teenage market, will also close down, but BBC Three will not be affected. The BBC websites will be slashed in half and staff at the corporation will be cut by 25 percent.

As Billboard reports, a BBC spokesperson said today: "Work on the BBC's strategy review is ongoing and we are not commenting on today's story."

A huge public outcry has quickly followed the news of the proposed closures, especially in regards to 6 Music. Already a Save BBC 6Music Facebook group (organized by those who campaigned to take Rage Against the Machine to No. 1 last Christmas) has attract more than 60,000 fans.

Several stars have also voiced their support for 6 Music, including David Bowie, who said in a statement, "6 Music keeps the spirit of broadcasters like John Peel alive and for new artists to lose this station would be a great shame"

The corporation's governing body, the BBC Trust, will make the report available to the public sometime next month.