BBC News announced the loss of 140 posts yesterday, with jobs going on flagship shows such as Newsnight as well as the BBC News Channel, Radio 4 and Radio 1.
It was the story which the BBC's Director of News, Helen Boaden, did not want to break, particularly as she is among the front-runners to succeed Mark Thompson as BBC Director-General later this year.
The cuts are part of Mr Thompson's cost-cutting Delivering Quality First Programme, designed to generate 20 per cent savings over five years with the loss of 2,000 jobs across the BBC.
"I don't pretend that these changes will be easy or painless for individuals or teams," Ms Boaden said in an email to staff yesterday. The lost posts are believe to include three Newsnight reporters, three Radio 4 news reporters and 17 from the Radio 1 and 1Xtra Newsbeat team. Unions have been told that 28 posts will go in the BBC newsroom and one of the presenters will be axed on the BBC News Channel, along with six jobs from the BBC News online team.
Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the National Union of Journalists, said the quality of BBC journalism was under "severe threat".