Feeds

BBC places news chief and her deputy beyond use in Savile row

Latest DG leaps overboard from rudderless behemoth

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

The BBC's director of news Helen Boaden and her deputy Steve Mitchell have "stepped aside" as the corporation investigates Newsnight's handling of a report on child sex abuse by BBC presenter Jimmy Savile.

Boaden was paid £354,000 last year, and a fortnight ago took time out to fend off a freedom-of-information request at a tribunal.

Mitchell, 63, has been with the BBC for 38 years. It is believed the gardening leave is temporary: the pair have not resigned while the Pollard review into Newsnight is conducted. It's one of two reviews established by the Beeb - the other, the Smith review, will hear from people who allege they were sexually abused by BBC staff including the late Jimmy Savile.

The BBC's director general George Entwistle resigned on Saturday after just 54 days in the job. He carried the can for another a bungled Newsnight investigation into a senior political figure that relied on a single source.

Entwistle received a £450,000 lump sum - one year's salary - on top of his £877,000 pension. Auntie's pension fund is £2.6bn in deficit, and the fund's liabilities rose £1.6bn in the last year. The fund has significant equity investments in the tobacco and pharmaceuticals industries - and internet companies including Apple, Google and eBay.

In June Ofcom found that three-quarters of TV news watched in the UK is produced by the BBC. The corporation boasts it operates three of the top five sources (BBC One, News 24, News online) of news for Brits; broadcasts at least 70 per cent of radio news; and snags 46 per cent of all page views in the top 50 online news providers. It has a dominant position in the UK news market.

BBC stalwarts including David Dimbleby, now 74, criticised the Beeb's bureaucracy, describing the broadcaster as "over managed and [rife with] management speak gobbledegook, it's gone bonkers". Why was the chief of BBC TV called "Head of Vision", Dimbleby asked this morning on BBC Radio 4. Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman also criticised Auntie's layers of managers - although it was the absence of management checks that ultimately brought down Entwistle.

Fran Unsworth takes over as acting head of news. In 2006 she helped set a new agenda for reporting environmental issues in a blog post of some historical interest.

Worse may yet come. Paleo-commentator Simon Heffer points out that the peer wrongly accused on Twitter following the BBC's Newsnight report has an ancient antipathy towards BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten.

So should an outsider get the job? And how can the new incumbent cut the bureaucracy when, as John Simpson writes, it's the middle-managers who are asked to do the cutting? ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.