Hundreds of BBC journalists and technicians working at the Mailbox in Birmingham were expected to strike today, joining a national protest over proposed job cuts.
It is part of the biggest strike expected to hit the corporation in more than a decade and both local and national programmes were due to be heavily disrupted.
On the stroke of midnight, workers were due to down tools and walk out, with news bulletins after that shortened.
The morning show of BBC Radio WM presenter Adrian Goldberg was to be one of the first broadcasts to be disrupted, as members of the NUJ, Amicus and BECTU formed a picket line outside the building. A picket line was due to start at 4.30am and is to be observed for 18 hours. The action was sparked by the announcement in March of plans to axe more than 4,000 jobs across the BBC nationwide. The cuts will include eight jobs at Midlands Today, three at Radio WM, one in the online department and one from the Where I Live programme.
NUJ Father of the Chapel at Midlands Today Michele Paduano, who is the show's health correspondent, said the job cuts would correspond to a sharp decline in quality programming.
"This goes right to the soul of the BBC," he said. "Mark Thompson, the Director General, has said that the cuts are being made as part of securing the green paper. Effectively is the Government forcing these cuts on the BBC and we think it is being vindictive because of what happened over Hutton."