The BBC’s long-running political series Newsnight will be axed in order to save money.
The show, which debuted almost 40 years ago, will lose crucial correspondents, more than 60 Newsnight employees will lose their jobs, and each episode will be cut by 10 minutes.
Kirsty Wark, who has been hosting Newsnight for 30 years, announced her departure in October.
Instead, the BBC News at One programme will be increased to an hour in length, and more money will be spent in digital journalism.
The decrease is part of the BBC’s £500 million savings strategy.
BBC News and Current Affairs CEO Deborah Turness explained: ‘When we started work on this announcement, I did not know if it would make financial sense to keep Newsnight on air.
‘We, like many other news organisations, have streamlined our editorial teams to avoid duplication.
‘It simply no longer makes sense to keep a bespoke reporting team dedicated to a single news programme with a small and declining audience, however good that programme is.’
She continued: ‘So we’ve made the decision to reformat Newsnight as a 30 minute late-night news-making debate, discussion and interview programme.
‘The new programme will no longer have a dedicated reporting team, but it will have access to our top reporting talent and experts from across BBC News, who will take part in the conversation and share their expertise and insights.’
Newsnight fans called the move a ‘terrible decision’, particularly if it means sacrificing ‘well-crafted long-form reports’.
‘Shocking. How about you cut back the horror show that is Question Time a wee bit, and keep the funding for Newsnight, which at least attempts to inform people,’ fumed one critic, while so many others agreed.
Another tweeted: ‘So kill Newsnight and give extra time to the 1pm, what the f**k, who watches the 1pm, let alone wants an hour of it.’
In October, Newsnight’s longest-serving presenter, Wark announced she was stepping down, making the announcement exactly 30 years to the day since her first programme.
Last year I spoke to both to the Director General Tim Davie and to Stewart and signalled my desire to end my three-decade run on the show after the next election, and that’s the plan,’ she said.
‘When the time comes it will be a massive wrench. However, I’ll be leaving Newsnight but not the BBC.
‘I’ll still be presenting The Reunion and Start the Week on Radio 4, TV documentaries too as well as finishing, finally, my third novel. There are exciting times ahead.’