As many as 210 positions, around 28% of Resources' total staff, could go across BBC Studios and BBC Post Production as part of the restructure which is being made to “make the business smaller, more flexible and resilient to changes in demand.”
According to Thomas, there was little alternative to the restructuring. “In order to survive we must stand on our own two feet,” he said in an email memo. “Where necessary, we need to reinvent the business to ensure we are profitable. But that is only the first step. I don't want the business merely to survive, I want it to thrive.”
He also told Broadcast that Resources would have lost out financially if it hadn't acted.
“Without job cuts, BBC Resources will make losses,” he said. “The company is not funded by the licence fee money and cannot operate without returning profit.”
Some 98 jobs will go in Post Production in London with a further 36 in Studios.
Facilities in Bristol and Birmingham are also likely to close along with Special Projects.
The closures of BBC post-production centres in Birmingham and Bristol will result in a maximum of 76 job losses.
Thomas said that there was limited commercial potential for these businesses because over 90% of their work comes from the BBC.
“Changes in the way the BBC makes programmes has reduced the work available to BBC Post Production and other suppliers,” he said. “Running operations in these areas requires a critical mass of work in order to optimise utilisation of staff and facilities.”
The restructure will be completed by summer 2009. Post Production in Birmingham and Bristol will close by the end of the financial year, but other areas will continue until June 2009.
BBC Vision Production is actively exploring the possibility of taking on a limited number of post production jobs at the end of the financial year.
Resources will begin the consultation process on Monday 8 December by asking staff to indicate whether they wish to stay, seek redeployment or leave the BBC.