Feeds

BBC Newsnightmare: Opera chief brought in as new DG

He knows a few fat singing ladies - but this isn't over

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The BBC has brought in its one-time head of news to succeed George Entwistle as the Corporation's new director-general, after the previous incumbent lasted just 54 days in the job.

Tony Hall, who is currently the boss of the Royal Opera House, has been hired for the £450,000 per year gig, the BBC Trust confirmed in a statement today. However, his tenure will not begin until March next year.

In the meantime, Tim Davie remains as acting DG at the troubled Beeb.

Lord Hall, who currently serves as deputy chairman at Channel 4, was head of BBC News and Current Affairs from 1996 to 2001. But he wasn't on the shortlist for the DG job earlier this summer, after Mark Thompson confirmed he was leaving his eight-year-long stint in the post, because Hall was unavailable.

Described by the trust as "a digital pioneer, launching BBC News Online, as well as Radio 5 Live, BBC News 24 and BBC Parliament", Hall will be expected to come in and reinvigorate a bruised and greying Auntie, whose news operation has suffered from a string of massive disasters in recent years - BBC2's bungled Newsnight child abuse investigation into a "senior Tory from the Thatcher years" is only the latest.

That broadcast led to Entwistle's underdoing and the BBC Trust - keen to limit the damage done to the Beeb's reputation - said it would quickly hire a new hand to replace him.

"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," said the trust's chairman Lord Patten.

He added that the broadcasting giant would "take a long, hard look at the way it operates".

Patten continued:

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.

Hall agreed by chiming in with: "It's been a difficult few weeks - but together we'll get through it."

The peer was the only person approached by the trust with an offer to take the DG gig. Patten explained that he hadn't been available during the previous round of interviews that eventually landed Entwistle the job. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.