RTÉ's Director General Noel Curran has warned that the station is considering pay cuts and the cessation of certain services if it does not secure a €25m set of cost reduction measures.
In an email to all staff, he described the challenge facing RTÉ as "serious".
He also acknowledged that the extensive cost reductions would require a huge effort from all employees.
He said once the current voluntary redundancy and early retirement scheme closes on June 15, RTE will never again be able to afford a scheme based on salaries predating 2009 pay cuts.
The RTÉ boss also warned that for those who remain, the station intends to introduce retraining and compulsory redeployment - both between divisions and between different areas of the country.
Mr Curran said that if the restructuring initiatives outlined failed to yield the necessary savings, RTÉ would consider further pay cuts and the cessation of certain services. He added that such measures would be necessary to put the organisation on a firm financial footing and deliver its long term strategic plan.
The Director General told staff there was no point pretending that the next six months would not be difficult for RTÉ, as they were for almost every media organisation in the country.
However, he said that if RTÉ did not act, the company would simply move from one round of cost cutting and crisis to the next. He said that was a cycle they needed to get out of.
He anticipated that the restructuring would take a number of months to complete - and that after it, RTÉ would be a very different and smaller organisation - where multi-skilling and flexibility would be the norm.
Mr Curran intends to meet staff to outline management's broader three year strategic approach.
Senior management in each division will also meet staff next week to brief them on the financial situation and the relevant cost reduction initiative envisaged for their area.
Negotiations with unions on the management proposals are due to get underway from June 11.
RTÉ is forecasting a deficit for 2012 of over €50m once restructuring costs are factored in.