The deputy director general of the BBC will be axed from his post with a golden goodbye of more than £500,000.
Mark Byford, who earned £475,000 last year, will be made redundant as the role is eliminated as part of corporation cost cuts, staff were told on Tuesday.
Further cuts are expected to be announced later this week, the Financial Times reported.
Director general Mark Thompson confirmed Mr Byford's departure in a letter to staff on Tuesday.
Mr Byford is entitled to a redundancy package of more than £500,000 but "significantly less" than £1 million, corporation sources said.
In his letter, Mr Thompson said: "Mark has played a critical role in recent years as the leader of all journalism across the BBC and has been an outstanding deputy to me and member of the executive board.
"But as part of our commitment to spend as much of the licence fee as possible on content and services, we've been looking at management numbers and costs across the BBC, and that must include the most senior levels.
"We have concluded - and Mark fully accepts - that the work he has done to develop our journalism and editorial standards across the BBC has achieved the goals we set to such an extent that the role of deputy director general can now end, that the post should close at the end of the current financial year, and that Mark himself should be made redundant."
Mr Byford steps down from the executive board at the end of March and will leave the BBC in early summer. Although he will not be replaced, Helen Boaden, director of BBC News, will join the executive board to represent BBC journalism.
In a separate letter, Mr Byford, who joined the BBC in 1979 as a television researcher at BBC Leeds, told staff: "Obviously I will be very sad to leave this brilliant organisation that has been such a dominant part of my life for so long. But I know this decision is the right way forward. "