The BBC is to cut more than 1,000 jobs, including many managerial roles, because of a £150 million shortfall in its licence fee income.
Staff were told about the cuts by director general Tony Hall at the corporation's central London offices on Thursday.
He reportedly told staff by email that an increasing number of people do not watch live television, so do not need to pay the licence fee.
It is understood that around three layers of management will be cut, while some of the BBC's divisions will be reduced.
The Guardian quoted from the email Hall sent staff, which read: "We’ve taken a good look at the structures across the BBC. In some places there are 10 layers between the top and the bottom of the organisation. I think that’s too many – and, in future, we’ll work to a maximum of seven."
Hall said the job cuts would save the broadcaster around £50m a year so more "difficult choices" would follow, the BBC reported.
The jobs are mainly going in professional and support services amid moves to cut back on duplication of roles.
Hall said: "A simpler, leaner, BBC is the right thing to do and it can also help us meet the financial challenges we face.
"We've already significantly cut the costs of running the BBC, but in times of very tough choices we need to focus on what really matters - delivering outstanding programmes and content for all our audiences."
According to the broadcaster, Hall added that decision-making had become too complicated in recent times, as new services have been introduced. The director general wanted to cut these back to make things simpler, which "inevitably would lead to fewer decision-makers".
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The BBC said the changes to the structure and organisation will make it "simpler, leaner and more effective".
The corporation has already taken measures to make £1.5 billion of savings a year by 2017, mainly through cutting administration and property costs, pay and jobs as well as shared sports rights.
The BBC said in a statement: "Despite the progress already made, and the realities of the licence fee being frozen for seven years, a new financial challenge means additional savings must now be found.
"The licence fee income in 2016/17 is now forecast to be £150 million less than it was expected to be in 2011. This is because as more people use iPlayer, mobiles and online catch-up, the number of households owning televisions is falling. It also provides further evidence of the need for the licence fee to be modernised to cover digital services."
The new cuts will deliver savings of £50 million through merging divisions, cutting down management layers and improving processes, the corporation said.
On Twitter, eagle-eyed news fans were quick to point out that the BBC may regret getting rid of so many staff.