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Entwistle named new BBC chief

BBC Vision director George Entwistle has been named the new director general of UK pubcaster the BBC, to replace incumbent Mark Thompson when he steps down after the London Olympics.

George Entwistle

Entwistle beat off applications from BBC chief operating officer Caroline Thomson and Ed Richards, the CEO of UK media regulator Ofcom.

The appointment was confirmed today by BBC governing body the BBC Trust, whose chairman, Lord Patten, said of Entwistle:

“His experience of making and delivering great programmes that audiences love – built up through many years of working for the Corporation – will prove invaluable as he and his team work to ensure the BBC remains the greatest broadcaster in the world.

“Above all George is passionate about the BBC, is committed to its public service ethos and has a clear vision for how it can harness the creativity and commitment of its staff to continue to serve audiences in ever more innovative ways.”

Entwistle took over as head of the BBC’s creative department in May last year, replacing Jana Bennett on a permanent basis after she moved over to the pubcaster’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide (BBCWW). He joined the BBCWW board as a non-exec director earlier this month. Bennett is now leaving BBCWW.

Entwistle will take up his new post on a salary of £450,000 (US$704,450) per year. He said of his appointment: “I’m delighted that the Chairman and Trustees have decided I’m the right person for the job. And I’m very excited about all that lies ahead. I love the BBC and it’s a privilege to be asked to lead it into the next stage of its creative life.”

Outgoing DG Thompson said: “I think this is a brilliant appointment. George has shown himself to be an outstanding leader with an intuitive understanding of public sector broadcasting. He has a formidable track record as a programme maker and in recent years has also shown his calibre as a leader. I wish him and the BBC every success in the years to come.”


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