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November 22, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The BBC has acted swiftly to appoint a replacement to succeed the recently resigned George Entwistle as director-general. Employing what Britain’s Guardian newspaper described as “a secret, emergency process” (no one else was considered for the job), the public broadcaster today (Thursday) named Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House to take over the BBC reins in early March. In a statement, Christopher Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, described Hall as “the right person to lead the BBC out of its current crisis and help rebuild public trust in the organization.” Trust in the BBC recently received a one-two punch after it was disclosed that its flagship newsmagazine Newsnight shelved a report that would have revealed that the late BBC host Jimmy Savile, once one of its most popular personalities, had sexually abused children over a decades-long period, sometimes in his dressing room at the BBC. In another report Newsnight erroneously identified a prominent British lawmaker as a member of a pedophile ring. Hall, a former director of BBC News, had previously been a candidate for director-general but quit in 1999 when he lost out to Greg Dyke. Patten called Hall “an insider … currently an outsider.” He added that “most importantly, given where we now find ourselves, his experience as a former BBC journalist will prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild its reputation in this area.” The current acting director general is Tim Davie, who has no background in journalism. In a statement, Hall said, “It’s been a difficult few weeks — but together we’ll get through it. I’m committed to ensuring our news services are the best in the world. I’m committed to making this a place where creative people, the best and the brightest, want to work.”