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October 26, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The New York Times‘s ombudsman may have expressed serious doubts

Mark Thompson

about the qualifications of former BBC Director General Mark Thompson’s qualifications to become president and CEO of The New York Times Company in the wake of the Jimmy Savile sex scandal in the U.K., but Chairman/Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. apparently has none. In a message to the newspaper’s staff concerning the Times’s third-quarter results, Sulzberger praised Thompson’s “high ethical standards” and said that he is “the ideal person to lead our company.” Thompson is due to take over the position of CEO on Nov. 12, replacing Janet Robinson, who stepped down last December. Sulzberger said in his message that he had received a letter from Thompson concerning the BBC’s decision to cancel a report by one of its top news programs that would have revealed that Savile had sexually molested dozens of teenage girls in his dressing room when he hosted two popular BBC series, “and I am satisfied that he played no role in the cancellation of the segment.” Sulzberger also assured the staff that the Times “will cover the Savile story with objectivity and rigor. Mark endorses that completely as do I. Both of us believe passionately in strong, objective journalism that operates without fear or favor, no matter what it is covering.” Meanwhile, Scotland Yard said today that it has been contacted by about 300 women who said that they had been victims of assault by Savile and other celebrities. The London Daily Mirror said that other suspects who have been accused include former members of the BBC staff. Metropolitan Police Commander Peter Spindler told the Mirror that 30 officers have been assigned to the case. “There is Savile, but there are also others,” he said. “We are dealing with a major crime investigation here.”