BBC journalists walked out on strike this week in protest at compulsory redundancies, nearly a third of which will be taken from BBC Scotland.
Alex Salmond said Scottish coverage of news and current affairs is particularly crucial in the run-up to the independence referendum.
During First Minister's Questions, he also criticised a scheduling decision not to screen flagship politics show Sunday Politics Scotland while Westminster is in recess, but Holyrood is not.
"BBC Scotland's decision to frontload cuts from the licence fee settlement is particularly disappointing while Scotland is debating such a hugely important public decision," said Mr Salmond.
"The BBC should be prioritising its capacity to cover Scottish current affairs rather than attacking it or reducing it as is being done at the present moment."
SNP MSP Jim Eadie said: "The BBC's status as an institution that not only explains Scotland to itself but explains Scotland to the world is dependent not only on the correspondents that they employ but in every single member of staff that supports them in producing high-quality news and analysis, staff who have felt compelled this week to take industrial action.
"Is it now time to heed the call of the National Union of Journalists for a six-month moratorium on these redundancies?"
Mr Salmond said: "I think that is a positive proposal.
"I see with dismay no fewer than nine out of a total of 30 compulsory redundancies across the BBC are to be in Scotland, and that should tell us that there is huge disquiet amongst staff, not just about their individual future but the collective ability of the BBC to serve Scotland.
"As a small example, and I'm not saying this will be the most dramatic loss to the Scottish population, I note that the Politics Show as I understand it next Sunday is not to be broadcast in Scotland because the Westminster Parliament is in recess.
"I accept that I don't think this is going to be devastating news for the vast majority of the Scottish population, but it should give some issue of reflection that surely we should accept our public service broadcaster to have the capability to cover the politics and current affairs that are taking place in Scotland, and not not have a programme because the Westminster Parliament is in recess.
"I think that points to the lack of ability within BBC Scotland to do that under current resources, which surely is going to be made much more significantly challenging if these cutbacks go ahead."
A BBC Scotland spokesman said:"There is nothing unusual about the Politics Show being off air this Sunday. It is part of the normal run of this programme, not as a consequence of any savings being made."
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