The BBC today confirmed plans to axe 2,900 jobs over the next three years under moves to make savings of £320m (€463m).
Director general Mark Thompson said 2,500 jobs will be cut in human resources, finance, marketing, training, legal services and other non-programme-making departments.
A further 400 posts will be cut in the corporation’s factual and learning departments.
Staff sat stony-faced in newsrooms and offices across the country as they watched the special broadcast on their computer screens.
Around 1,800 workers will be moved to a new regional centre in Manchester over the next five years, Mr Thompson announced.
Radio 5 Live, BBC Sport, and children’s channels CBBC and Cbeebies are among the departments leaving London.
Mr Thompson said the changes were “necessary”, pledging that more money will be put into programme making.
Further job cuts in other BBC departments, including news, are expected next March.
Union leaders warned today of possible industrial action if any of the redundancies were compulsory.
Union leaders fear there could be hundreds of compulsory job cuts but have pledged to fight any moves to force workers to leave the corporation or relocate against their will.
BBC insiders said today that managers were bracing themselves for possible strikes next year over the job cuts.
It is understood that some managers are already drawing up contingency plans to deal with any outbreak of industrial action.