BBC director-general Mark Thompson is announcing a major makeover of the organisation as it prepares the case for the renewal of its royal charter.
The reforms follow four separate internal reviews, covering value for money, programme supply, commercial operations and the location of departments.
Among the changes anticipated are significant job cuts, increases in independent production, the sale of commercial divisions and relocation of some departments to the regions. Much of the detail, however, is still to be determined.
Cuts are expected in administrative and support functions, such as finance and human resources. An overall reduction in staff will also be achieved by outsourcing and establishing joint ventures.
Among the divisions up for sale is BBC Broadcast, the commercial company created to manage playout and presentation across multiple platforms. Private equity companies and media groups are understood to be preparing to bid for the company.
Partnerships are expected to be sought for BBC Resources, the division responsible for studios, outside broadcast and post production facilities.
The BBC has already sold off its Technology division to Siemens, bringing in £150 million in cash to help balance the books and outsourcing services to deliver savings.
While taking time away from the corporation as chief executive of Channel Four, where he cut the headcount by 30 per cent, Mark Thompson famously declared that the BBC was awash in a “Jacuzzi of cash” as a result of the previous licence fee settlement.
When he returned as director-general he declared that the BBC would have to change more rapidly and radically over the next three to five years than at any previous point in its history.
In addition to structural changes, plans will also be announced for a new service, dubbed ‘Catch-up TV’, which will enable broadband viewers to watch selected programmes broadcast within the previous week.