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Davie to replace Tony Hall as BBC director general

Tim Davie: ‘critical time’

BBC Studios’ chief executive Tim Davie will succeed Tony Hall as Director General of the BBC.

Mr Davie acted as DG in 2012 and 2013 during the Jimmy Savile scandal and had been praised for “steadying the ship.”

Among his key tasks will be negotiating the future of the TV licence system and funding levels with the Government. He will also seek a replacement for Donalda MacKinnon, head of BBC Scotland.

“This has been a critical time for the UK and these past few months have shown just how much the BBC matters to people,” he said.

“Our mission has never been more relevant, important or necessary. I have a deep commitment to content of the highest quality and impartiality.

We will need to accelerate change so that we serve all our audiences

– Tim Davie, incoming DG at BBC

“Looking forward, we will need to accelerate change so that we serve all our audiences in this fast-moving world. Much great work has been done, but we will continue to reform, make clear choices and stay relevant.”

Mr Davie, who last year turned down an offer to become head of the English Premier League, will be paid £525,000 a year – £75,000 more than Lord Hall, but £75,000 less than he was getting as head of BBC Studios.

The BBC said the director general’s salary has not been increased since 2012, and this is the level that it would have reached had inflation been applied. It added that Mr Davie has “agreed to take a salary stand-still” and be paid £450,000 until August 2021, as “all senior managers at the BBC are currently on a salary freeze”.

He has held executive roles at the BBC since 2005, when he joined from Pepsi to become the BBC Director of Marketing, Communications and Audiences.

Three years later he moved to radio as Director of the Audio & Music departments, holding responsibility for BBC Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4. During that period was the prank call controversy from Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross and also the decision to close 6 Music – which was later reversed.

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In 2012 he was named CEO of BBC Worldwide, but left after a few weeks to take the acting Director General role, when George Entwistle resigned following an error in a Newsnight child abuse report.

When Tony Hall took charge, he moved back to BBC Worldwide, before it merged with BBC Studios.

He was selected by a panel, led by the BBC chairman, David Clementi, and will start the role in the autumn.

“Tim has a strong track record as the CEO of BBC Studios and is one of the most respected names in the industry. His leadership and experience, both outside the BBC and within, will ensure that we are well placed to meet the opportunities and challenges of the coming years. Tim has an enthusiasm and energy for reform, while holding dear to the core mission of the BBC,” said Clementi.

“We know that the industry is undergoing unprecedented change and the organisation faces significant challenges as well as opportunities. I am confident that Tim is the right person to lead the BBC as it continues to reform and change.

“My focus for the remainder of my own term as Chairman, until February of next year, will be to ensure that there is a smooth and successful handover and that the BBC continues to serve audiences across the whole of the UK.”

Other shortlisted candidates included Charlotte Moore, the BBC Director of Content; Amazon UK’s Doug Gurr and the former CEO of Dow Jones, Will Lewis.

Hall announced his decision to step down in January, after seven years leading the BBC.

“I’m delighted that Tim has been appointed as the next Director-General. He is a fantastic leader. I wish him every success for the future. I know that the BBC is in safe hands,” added Hall.



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