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The BBC Trust has appointed (Lord) Tony Hall, former BBC chief of news and current CEO of the Royal Opera House, as the new Director General replacing George Entwistle, who resigned in the wake of the Savile and McAlpine scandals. Hall was made a Lord in light of his role with several public and charitable organisations.
The Trust said: “Lord Hall is currently Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, was Chairman of the board for the Cultural Olympiad and was head of BBC News and Current Affairs from 1996 to 2001. He was a digital pioneer, launching BBC News Online, as well as Radio 5 Live, BBC News 24 and BBC Parliament. At present he is Deputy Chairman of Channel 4.
Lord Hall is expected to start in early March and in the interim period Tim Davie will remain as Acting Director-General.”
The appointment was unanimously agreed by Trustees this morning, and BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten said:
“While there are still very serious questions to be answered by the on-going inquiries, it is in the interests of licence fee payers that the BBC now starts to refocus on its main purpose – making great programmes that audiences love and trust.
“In doing this it will need to take a long, hard look at the way it operates and put in place the changes required to ensure it lives up to the standards that the public expects. Tony Hall is the right person to lead this and I am delighted that he is taking on this role. For its part I want to make sure that the Trust gives Tony Hall whatever help and support he needs to re-build the BBC’s management around him.”
“Tony Hall has been an insider and is a currently an outsider. As an ex-BBC man he understands how the Corporation’s culture and behaviour make it, at its best, the greatest broadcaster in the world. And from his vantage point outside the BBC, he understands the sometimes justified criticisms of the Corporation – that it can be inward looking and on occasions too institutional.”
“But perhaps most importantly, given where we now find ourselves, his background in news will prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild both its reputation in this area and the trust of audiences.”
Hall will get the same salary of £450,000 per year as Entwhislte.