The BBC is thought to be considering sweeping reductions to its services, including plans to shut down two radio stations and cut back on web services by up to 50 per cent.
According to a report by the Financial Times, director general Mark Thompson has presented a draft of a strategic review containing the proposals to the BBC Trust.
The cuts could see many seemingly "unpopular" services such as 6 Music and The Asian Network digital radio stations go to the wall, along with a 50 per cent reduction in the BBC's online services, along with 25 per cent of the staff. Also on the media side, the BBC's commercial publishing arm, BBC Worldwide, is indicated to take a hit, along with the annual budget of £100 million reserved primarily for US and foreign TV imports.
The report is seen as a direct reaction to the increasing pressure of criticism from politicians and rivals alike about the BBC's far-reaching media operations, which have been slated for being uncompetitive and overly expensive.
Already, according to The Times, the former Virgin Radio, now rebranded as Absolute Radio will be putting a bid in for popular teen digital radio station 6 Music.
Most of the cuts media-wise seem to be aimed at the younger/teenage area of BBC operations with BBC Switch and Blast also indicated in the proposals, in an area where C4 and ITV are traditionally seen as market leaders. BBC Three however, will remain untouched, and £25 million will be re-directed to BBC Two in an attempt to raise standards.
A full synopsis of the report was posted by The Times online here.