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BBC announces major shakeup as CBBC and BBC Four move online

BBC logo
The BBC is moving CBBC and BBC Four online. (Image credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The BBC has announced big plans to stop airing CBBC and BBC Four as traditional broadcast channels and move them online.

Director-general Tim Davie has revealed that these networks will continue to be produced and made available for online platforms.

This means that CBBC will only be available to watch on BBC iPlayer, meanwhile Radio 4 Extra will move to BBC Sounds.

This shake-up is part of the BBC’s plan to create a "modern, digital-led and streamlined organisation” and will see the broadcaster start to prioritise digital platforms, as well as be part of cost-saving measures, with cuts of £200m a year. 

In a statement, Mr Davie explained that the BBC must "evolve faster and embrace the huge shifts in the market around us.

"This is our moment to build a digital-first BBC. Something genuinely new, a Reithian organisation for the digital age, a positive force for the UK and the world,” he said.

"Independent, impartial, constantly innovating and serving all. A fresh, new, global digital media organisation that has never been seen before.

My Mum Tracy Beaker

My Mum Tracy Beaker was a hit show that aired on CBBC. (Image credit: BBC)

“Driven by the desire to make life and society better for our licence fee payers and customers in every corner of the UK and beyond. They want us to keep the BBC relevant and fight for something that in 2022 is more important than ever.

“To do that we need to evolve faster and embrace the huge shifts in the market around us.” 

He also told staff that too many BBC resources are currently focused on broadcast output rather than online, saying: "We are moving decisively to a largely on-demand world."

As part of the changes, the corporation’s two news channels will be merged into one, rather than having two different news networks for UK and World audiences.

This will lead to a single, 24-hour broadcast called BBC News, which will serve the UK and international audiences while offering greater amounts of shared content.

Sophie Raworth in the BBC newsroom

BBC News will be merged into one for both UK and international audiences. (Image credit: BBC/Jeff Overs)

Mr Davie also revealed changes to local radio and regional news, which will see TV news programmes in Oxford and Cambridge join forces with the BBC’s Southampton and Norwich operations.

Current affairs programme We Are England will also end after its second series later this year.

Mr Davie added that: “I believe in a public service BBC for all, properly funded, relevant for everyone, universally available, and growing in the on-demand age. This plan sets us on that journey.”

Grace Morris
Grace Morris

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.