Mark Thompson set to take over at NYT despite BBC scandal
The New York Times has said former BBC director general Mark Thompson will take over as chief executive as planned on Monday.
London: The New York Times has said former BBC director general Mark Thompson will take over as chief executive as planned on Monday.
The New York Times move comes despite an intensifying scandal at the BBC that has raised questions about his tenure as director-general of the broadcaster.
“He is going to be CEO beginning November 12,” a New York Times spokesman said.
The New York Times maintained its confidence in the paper’s new chief following the news that George Entwistle, the director-general of the BBC, said he was resigning from the broadcaster on Saturday.
According to the Telegraph, Entwistle, who took over as director general from Mark Thompson on September 17, quit after Newsnight broadcast a report that wrongly accused a senior Conservative of child abuse.
The latest embarrassment comes as the BBC faces multiple investigations into claims that hundreds of people, some as young as 12, were sexually abused over the course of decades by the late comedian Jimmy Savile, the report said.
It is also facing awkward questions over how Newsnight, while Thompson was director-general, cancelled a report that was investigating complaints against Savile and instead aired laudatory shows commemorating Savile after he died last year, it added.
Thompson said he did not know about the nature of the investigation by Newsnight into Savile, and had no involvement in the decision to axe the report.
He later said he had a ‘chance meeting’ with a journalist who mentioned the Newsnight investigation into Savile, but said he had not been told any of the details or the scale of the problem.
“I wasn’t told any specific lines of inquiry and certainly not anything related to the BBC,” he told The New York Times.
“It didn’t occur to me that there was a contemporary corporate interest to defend. You can say it’s a lack of imagination,” he added.