Tony Hall's axing of BBC3 is the least worst way of saving money
The BBC director general is expected to propose making the channel online only
If the reports of BBC3's demise are correct, and I imagine they are, then it is obviously not a time for rejoicing. But it is a time for a sober understanding of an entirely rational decision.
Surely no-one believed that that the BBC could go on delivering on all fronts when its budget has been constrained due to the licence fee freeze at a time when it has also been required to take on extra commitments.
Of all the cuts that could be made, the axing of BBC3 is unquestionably the most sensible or perhaps the least worst.
The channel has managed to deliver on its promise to attract a young following. Last year, according to the audience figures, it had the highest ratings among the 16-34 age group, bigger than Channel 4 for example.
It has also proved to be a great starting ground for young comedy writers and producers, introducing new talent to the screen. It has won awards (four Baftas in two years). It has aired some excellent current affairs programmes and documentaries.
And it is therefore no wonder that rumours of the axe hanging over BBC3 should have attracted thousands of supportive tweets and something of a campaign to save it by several of the stars it has nurtured.
I mean no disrespect to the talent when I point out that they would say that wouldn't they? After all, they may well believe its closure will hit them in their pockets.
But the financial headache facing the BBC's director-general, Lord (Tony) Hall, and his senior executives, has been obvious for many months. They have cut staff, shaved salaries and tightened budgets generally, but what has been inevitable for some time has been the need for a really large saving.
Looking across all of its output, BBC3 was always the most likely target. When he remarked at the Oxford Media Convention last week that "hard decisions" had to be made, he gave a clear indication of his intentions.
The BBC "couldn't stay the same", he said, and would require another £100m a year in the run-up to charter renewal and the settlement of a new licence fee. And BBC3 will surely save about £100m.
"Hard decisions" are just that. If the BBC is to have any hope of sustaining its quality core output then a sacrifice had to be made.
In an ideal world, the BBC - meaning Hall and his colleagues - would love to keep BBC3 on air. It fulfils the corporation's commitment to youth.
However, seen from the wider perspective, it is a marginal channel with a small share of the overall television audience.
To stick with BBC3 would inevitably mean reducing the budgets, and quality, elsewhere. That option was anathema to Hall. He will be portrayed in some quarters as an axeman. Think of him instead as a saviour who had to sever a limb in order to save the corporate body.
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This does boil my piss I pay my TV License so that I can watch TV not be a part of one of the UK largest Web Endevours etc axe something else rather than TV Channels after all that's what generates the revenue.