After controversy, a new leader for the BBC

George Entwistle will start as director-general this autumn
George Entwistle will start as director-general this autumn

By Cassie Chambers

The BBC has announced George Entwistle, current director of BBC Vision, as the station's new director-general.

Entwistle, who is currently responsible for overseeing all the major BBC TV channels, will take the reins of the company after the Paralympics, the station has announced.

The new director-general was selected by a panel from the BBC Trust, the station's governing body, with Lord Patten chairing the committee.


"George is a creative leader for a creative organization," Lord Patten said.

"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."

The announcement follows current director-general Mark Thompson's decision to leave his role at the station in autumn.

Thompson's tenure has been marked by a series of controversies, including questions about his £671,000 annual salary and public dissatisfaction with the BBC's coverage of the Jubilee riverboat pageant.

Yet Patten expressed his admiration for the outgoing director general, saying: "I once again want to pay tribute to Mark Thompson. His creativity, vision and leadership have made him an outstanding director-general of the BBC and he will be sorely missed."

Thompson endorsed his replacement calling the new director general a "brilliant appointment" and an "outstanding leader".

Upon learning of his appointment, Entwistle expressed his passion for public broadcasting and his excitement about leading the BBC into the future.

He said: "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," he continued.

Entwistle has been with the BBC since 1989, when he began his career as a trainee in broadcast journalism.

The first task he faces is preparing the BBC for its Royal Charter review.

The current BBC charter, which lays out the details of station funding and management, is set to expire in 2016.
 

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