Thank you for all your comments both on Mark Thompson's post, and elsewhere. I'm John Tate, the BBC's Director of Policy and Strategy, and I'd like to take this opportunity to answer the main questions and concerns that seem to be emerging, outlined below. We'll be commenting more over the coming days across the BBC's blog network, but here are some initial thoughts from me.

Why is the BBC doing this strategy review at all? What's the point?

Mark Thompson outlined the purpose behind the strategy review in his blog yesterday, where he said:

"The BBC has one mission: to inform, educate and entertain audiences with programmes and services of high quality, originality and value. That is not for debate. What today is about is how we are going to deliver that mission.

"My ambition is for us to become more confident and proud of the fact that we exist to be different. Our purpose is not to make money, it is to enrich people's lives by capturing the essence of Britain today and making sure everyone can access excellence in programmes and content, whoever they are."

The external environment has changed radically over the last two years, with explosive growth in digital, platforms converging, big changes in audience behaviour and a commercial sector facing real strain and new pressures.

We felt it was the right moment to take a hard look at what the BBC should be doing and where it delivers the most value.

The strategy we outlined yesterday focuses the BBC on putting quality programming first, with a smaller and more focused BBC that does fewer things better, leaving space for others with clearer limits. And we'll focus on areas that build overall public value, and that are most at risk of being ignored or under-invested in elsewhere.

We are proposing changes that will put the BBC in a stronger position to deliver the kind of high quality and distinctive programmes we exist to provide, free at the point of use.

The BBC stated yesterday that the strategy review was "Putting Quality First", and yet a great demonstration of quality, 6 Music is to be cut. How is this justified and not contradictory?

Many of you are passionate about radio, and proposed changes to 6 Music and the Asian Network have provoked strong reaction.

I spoke about this issue today on The Media Show and you can listen to my answers here.

In addition Tim Davie, the BBC's Director of Audio and Music, will be blogging on proposals for BBC Radio networks here tomorrow.

Discussion has also centred on the future of the BBC's web presence. If Digital is the BBC's 3rd platform alongside TV and radio for future, why are we cutting the site?

Online is very much part of the BBC's future - the bottom line is that we remain absolutely committed to the web as our third platform alongside TV and Radio. Whereas BBC TV and Radio have natural boundaries, currently these don't really exist on the web. After a period of rapid expansion online, now is the right moment for us to re-focus and re-prioritise.

Precisely because online is so important, it must meet the same thresholds of quality and effectiveness as our other services. It's about imposing a clear remit on BBC Online, and re-shaping the service with a stronger focus on the five editorial priorities (the best journalism; inspiring knowledge, music and culture; ambitious UK drama and comedy; outstanding children's content; and events that bring communities and the nation together): doing less but doing it better. This will re-balance BBC Online with an emphasis on high quality, distinctive content and services which provide greater, long-term value to the audience

It's also about ensuring that it can introduce to people the best of what's available inside the BBC AND across the web.

Keep an eye out on the Internet blog for more detail on this in the coming weeks.

Political implications have also come up - whether these proposals are to pre-empt the election and a possible Conservative government, and whether this is simply a political move. Are they?

The strategy we're announcing today is rooted in a really clear vision of what the BBC is here to do, and the value it delivers every day to audiences here and around the world.

As I said at the start of this post, we are proposing changes that will put the BBC in a stronger position to deliver the kind of high quality and distinctive programmes we exist to provide, free at the point of use, underlining our core mission: to inform, educate and entertain.

We began work on this review last June and it is the result of many months work.

As I mentioned earlier, the past 18 months has forced everyone to think very carefully about the balance of the media sector and where we can add the most value.

You announced yesterday that the BBC would be reallocating £600m - how and where will this money be spent?

We announced proposals yesterday to reprioritise nearly £600m of existing licence fee funding into programmes and activity that will increase the quality of our programmes in the 5 priority areas we've been discussing here.

Of this £600m, almost £400m of funding will come from existing service licence and genre budgets, and will be spent in new ways to drive higher quality content in local radio, BBC One, Two and Four, Children's programming, Radio 2, and the revised budget for Online. A further £100m will be raised by reducing the running costs of the BBC, and through continuing efficiencies, while the final £100m will come from service closures and by reducing spend on BBC Online and acquisitions.

Another question coming up is why the BBC does not further reduce spend on management pay, rather than cut services - why don't you?

We are committing to reducing the cost of running of BBC and the amount we spend on infrastructure projects so we can spend more on content. First of all, 10 years ago, the BBC spent ¼ of the licence fee on running the BBC. We have halved that to 12p in the pound today, and the strategy review pledges to cut that by a further ¼ to 9p by the end of the current Charter.

We are already taking tough action on reducing senior management pay - these proposals recommend a combination of both. We've already committed to dropping senior management headcount by 18%, and their pay bill by 25%, and executive pay has been frozen, and bonuses suspended.

Mad Men, The Wire and other US imports are some of the best programmes on TV, and fall into that high quality drama category highlighted in the review. Why are these going when they add so much value?

The proposals are not about individual shows but the BBC's future focus - there will always be a place in BBC schedules for high quality programming and distinctive acquired programming.
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There is an expectation that the licence fee should be spent on the best UK originated programming - what the majority of our audiences watch, listen to, and love. There are some distinctive things we will want to acquire, including international documentaries, foreign language films, and uninterrupted family films at special moments of the year such as Christmas Day, as well as selected high quality series. By cutting spend on acquisitions by 20%, we will invest more on original UK programming for our 5 editorial priorities outlined above.

Lastly, it's worth reminding you that the BBC Strategy Review proposals are now with the Trust, where they will undergo a public consultation. This will run until May 25 2010, after which the Trust will look at all the submissions which they have received, including those from the public and industry, alongside other research and analysis which they will carry out. The Trust will then form a final view on what the future strategic framework for the BBC ought to be, and will aim to provide a provisional view of their conclusions this summer and a final strategy in the autumn.

Anyone can participate, and full details are available here

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  • Comment number 32. Posted by archthought

    on 8 Mar 2010 16:48

    You haven't answered any of the questions about the idiotic decision to close 6 music.

    6 music is a unique service unlike radio 1 and 2 where there are plenty of commercial stations to fill the airwaves.

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  • Comment number 31. Posted by Steve

    on 6 Mar 2010 22:15

    Please can you list Mark Thompson's artistic achievements from the last 5 years.

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  • Comment number 30. Posted by The RevBernice Broggio

    on 5 Mar 2010 18:00

    Radio 4 is my friend and constant companion; but if savings have to be made, it seems that Radio 6 Live hits all the buttons for quality, service and promiting new music and musicians and sure should not be cut - unless merged with Radio 3, 1 or 2.
    The Asian Network seem now to be attempting too wide a Listnership. ( My Indian relations in Mumbai have to speak at least 5 languages) Asia is a large diverse area.
    Why not make savings by cutting popular light entertainment, like Strictly.... easily done by ITV or does the BBC really have to justify the Licence by large numbers? Less that £3.00 a week is not too much to pay for Radio and TV 7 days and nights a week.

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  • Comment number 29. Posted by atcf

    on 5 Mar 2010 16:26

    There is no problem with carrying out a review; there are quite a few areas where the BBC could cut back on some of its output. The issue is that the principles the BBC says that it wants to champion will not be served by targetting the services under threat. Surely the output of the likes of daytime BBC1, BBC3, Radio 1 and Radio 2, all of which more closely mirror the commercial services that the BBC does not want to be seen to compete with, are more obvious areas to review?

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  • Comment number 28. Posted by microwulf

    on 5 Mar 2010 14:50

    Sorry, that didn't contain any new insights as to why 6music is getting sacrificed. Just the same befuddling half-logic (using 'relatively' a lot there weren't we?) comparison of your Radio stations.

    It would be nice if someone in the BBC directly answered the questions that are being continually being re-iterated on these blogs. Isn't it the duty of the BBC to listen to the license fee payers?



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  • Comment number 27. Posted by 6chris

    on 5 Mar 2010 12:25

    As must as I object to the closing of 6music, I think the refusal of the BBC executives who made the decisions to answer the points raised in these responses is particularly galling.

    Most posts have been polite, and focussed on the issues of the review, rather than any personal comments. If the executives who posted these blogs are unwilling to engage in discussions, their blogs stop being efforts to communicate with their customers, the license fee payers, and start being propaganda.

    Please stop pretending that we, and the arguments we present, don't exist! It's part of your job to explain your decisions. The license fee payers, fund these blogs and message boards to give you a vehicle to do this. We're not being unreasonable to answer the well thought out points made here.

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  • Comment number 26. Posted by philothefish

    on 5 Mar 2010 04:38

    More of the same from the BBC PR department. Why not just take some notice of the points made.

    @DBA: why do I have to pay a tax for your pensioner sister to watch BBC1/2 or listen to other radio stations - crazy argument!!

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  • Comment number 25. Posted by wildthyme

    on 4 Mar 2010 21:07

    I still don't understand the proposal to murder 6music. Its not stepping on commercial toes because there isn't commercial alternatives to what it provides we all know that (what station has access to the bbc archive and can afford risks with unheard of bands). Whereas bbc3 is stepping on commercial toes and bbc1 is with strictly come dancing trying to compete with x factor on itv ! The problems you have identified in the review are correct the bbc has got too large and yes it shouldn't step on commercial broadcasters toes. However to deal with these problems you have chosen exactly the wrong stations to axe, its clear to EVERYONE that it should be radio1, 1xtra and bbc3 to go which are frankly not containing examples of great british quality programming or value for money! Please understand this.

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  • Comment number 24. Posted by Freya

    on 4 Mar 2010 20:21

    @DBA
    She doesn't. 6music is funded by the television licence fee which is optional as opposed to central taxation (to pay for things like old age pensions) which isn't.

    Also, are you totally sure she doesn't listen to 6music? Perhaps she would if it was more easily available on FM or MW? Maybe she just hasn't tried it yet! :)

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  • Comment number 23. Posted by Freya

    on 4 Mar 2010 20:10

    "And we'll focus on areas that build overall public value, and that are most at risk of being ignored or under-invested in elsewhere."

    YES! YES! This is 6music! Excellent value at only £9m compared to £51m for Radio3. A bargain. Also at risk of being completely ignored and not invested in elsewhere.

    Lets take this further. Lets swap 6music for Radio1 on FM. That would give 6music the potetnial to reach more people whereas Radio 1, which is a station that is somewhat duplicating services in the commercial sector (but of course very popular and valid it it's own right) could be a digital only station thus driving takeup of digital sets by its huge audience. That would benefit the people who get to keep the excellent value 6music. It would benefit the commercial radio stations who would have less competition on FM, it would benefit the radio industry by promoting digital radio and it would benefit the music industry by nuturing up and coming artists. Not to mention things like the educational role that 6music provides.

    You know it would even benefit Mark Thompson as it would exactly fulfill the kinds of objectives he talks about.

    It would be a win situation for everyone. :)

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