The UK's state-funded broadcaster, the BBC, has announced it is cutting 1,730 backroom jobs.

The cull is the first wave of nearly 3,000 lay-offs pledged by director general Mark Thompson in a bid to save £335 million ($644m, €490m). The axe will fall on almost one thousand jobs while the rest will be out-sourced. The departments affected at this time are marketing, communications, human resources and legal services.

The sweeping changes are being made in advance of the renewal of the BBC's royal charter (the structure under which it operates) in 2007. The corporation says the cash savings will be invested in new programming.

Explains Thompson, who delivered the news in a 13-minute video message to staff: "We need to make the BBC a simpler, more agile operation, ready to take the creative lead in a very different, very challenging digital future."

Later this month he is due to announce further job losses in TV, radio, news and new media

Data sourced from Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff