BBC faces radical personnel change, 5 execs may step aside

2012-11-14 04:43:43 GMT2012-11-14 12:43:43(Beijing Time)  SINA English

By Yuan Yue, Sina English

Now the British Broadcasting Corporation, the world's biggest public broadcaster, has been thrown into deep crisis, firstly over allegations of sloppy journalism, and then over George Entwistle's 450,000-pound severance pay.

Chris Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, is also urged to quit the company. As the child abuse scandal and internal investigation unfolds and credibility slips, BBC may face major shakeup, with five senior managers planning to quit.

The 450,000 pounds, as Chris Patten said on Nov. 12, is given to George Entwistle to wrap up the "endless negotiation". He claims this decision comes after a "thorough discussion", and is thus reasonable and necessary.

But as Times reveals on Nov.13, many BBC Trust members only got the call inquiring about salary minutes before Entwistle's resignation announcement, and that Chris Patten had decided on the "generous severance pay" before that, in order to put an end to the chaos as soon as possible.

David Cameron said the sum was "hard to justify", while many Conservative and Labour MPs condemns Mr. Patten of offering high salary "inappropriately" and incapable of handling crisis. He is urged to resign from his post.

The British government says that with the disclosure of BBC's internal investigation, five BBC executives may step aside, including Helen Boaden, the BBC's director of news and current affairs, and her deputy Steve Mitchell, Newsnight editor Peter Rippon, head of editorial policy, David Jordan.

Acting Director General Tim Davie confirmed the suspension of Boaden and Mitchell, saying they are incapable of serving in the key positions. The personnel change in the company still faces grave difficulties.

Peter Johnson, head of BBC Northern Ireland, was reported to have huge responsibility for vetting Newsnight as it prepared its controversial report, but the decision is not final. Besides, according to the investigation by Ken MacQuarrie, Director of BBC Scotland, the report wrongly accused a former politician of also being involved in child abuse was "hurried" out in five days.

John Simpson is the world affairs editor with BBC, he says "radical reorganization" could bring more problems, and "over-management" has always been a trouble for BBC ever since 1980s.

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Editor: Yu Runze
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