Rocked by scandal, BBC gets a new chief
November 26, 2012
The BBC is hoping to move past a scandal that has raised serious questions about its oversight and the public trust by naming a new director-general, weeks after its top executive left amid controversy.
Tony Hall, the one-time head of the BBC news division, will step into the spot vacated by George Entwhistle, who resigned last month after less than two months on the job.
Hall, who has been chief executive of the Royal Opera House since 2001, has a tall order ahead of him. He must restore public trust in the BBC at a time when trust in UK journalism generally is lacking, following the phone hacking and bribery charges at two News Corp. tabloids.
The public broadcaster has been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse by late presenter Jimmy Savile. Hundreds of women and girls have said they were abused by Savile, who has also been linked to a pedophilia ring.
Those allegations were disturbing enough, but there’s also been speculation over a cover-up that reached to the highest levels of the BBC after an episode of “Newsnight” examining the charges was spiked last year. The episode was to run just as the BBC was planning a special to fete the late Savile.
Then last month the BBC ran a program in which it falsely accused a politician of sexually abusing a boy. Entwhistle resigned shortly after the accuser, now an adult, said he had implicated the wrong man.
Hall will take over in March. Until then the BBC will continue to be overseen by acting director general Tim Davie, the chief executive of BBC Worldwide.
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