Staff at BBC Radio York have been told local programming is to be cut back to save money and help invest in online services.
In cuts across the network, 39 local radio stations will soon only produce local shows between 6am and 2pm and then share output either within their regions or nationally.
These changes will result in the loss of about 48 staff posts, with the BBC explaining it wants to prioritise digital content.
BBC Radio York started in 1983 and although its audience has dropped over the years with increased competition it has won many awards and is respected in the wider North Yorkshire community.
The station is currently managed by the editor of BBC Tees but that will change and it will be run from Hull under the new plans.
A former BBC editor in Yorkshire says for the BBC to say they actually improving services, is absolute nonsense.
Barry Stockdale was manager at Radio York and Radio Sheffield.
He said that people sit and listen to local radio for the day, but people hop in and out of a website.
“The two just are not comparable. In addition to the news and information that the BBC local radio service provides, it’s also company for people.
“Why can’t they be serious and honest with people and say, we haven’t got enough money?
“Instead, they say we’re improving our service to local audiences by investing in the website.
“It’s not the first time they’ve done this. Some years go they cut BBC Three on TV claiming they were maintaining the expenditure by continuing to invest in new commission’s though those would only be online.
“And then suddenly, they realise that, hey, there’s a younger audience that we need to attract. Let’s put BBC Three back on air.
“Cutting it in the first place was all about saving money, but they couldn’t admit that.
“They sit for hours and hours working out how they can put a positive spin on it and seem to forget that at the end of all this, there are listeners and viewers. and this time, it’s at the expense of older audiences.”
The BBC is also creating 11 investigative reporting teams across the country, focusing on key local issues across TV, radio and online. It said it would deliver “a wider range of local audio programming through BBC Sounds”.
Rhodri Talfan Davies, director of BBC Nations, said: “These are ambitious and far-reaching proposals to grow the value we deliver to local audiences everywhere.
“The plans will help us connect with more people in more communities right across England – striking a better balance between our broadcast and online services – and ensuring we remain a cornerstone of local life for generations to come.”
But culture minister Julia Lopez said the government “is disappointed that the BBC is reportedly planning to make such extensive cuts to its local radio output”.
“We recognise in the current fiscal context the BBC, like other organisations, is facing difficult financial decisions.
“But we are also concerned that the BBC is making such far-reaching decisions, particularly about its local news provision, without setting out further detail on how it will impact its audiences and the communities it serves.”
Philippa Childs, head of the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (Bectu)said: “Just last month we saw how important public service broadcasting and local radio are to our democracy via prime ministerial interviews.
“This disappointing move reinforces the need for a licence fee that keeps pace with inflation and enables long-term planning and stability.”
The BBC has been dealing with the effects of inflation and a freeze in the Licence Fee with fund all operations. Cash used to fund radio programmes has been diverted to pay for online content.
Wider BBC savings of £500m have previously been announced, with CBBC and BBC Four also scheduled to move online in the future. Local TV news programmes in Oxford and Cambridge will also be axed.
There are also plans to replace the BBC News Channel and BBC World with one rolling news network.