The BBC Trust has today appointed Tony Hall - Lord Hall of Birkenhead - as the Director-General of the BBC, following the departure of George Entwistle.
Lord Hall is currently Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, was Chairman of the board for the Cultural Olympiad and was head of BBC News and Current Affairs from 1996 to 2001. While at the BBC, he launched BBC News Online, as well as Radio 5 Live, BBC News 24 and BBC Parliament. At present he is Deputy Chairman of Channel 4.
Lord Hall is expected to start in early March and in the interim period Tim Davie will remain as Acting Director-General.
Announcing the appointment, BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten said the appointment is a first step in rebuilding the corporations reputation and trust:
"While there are still very serious questions to be answered by the on-going inquiries, it is in the interests of licence fee payers that the BBC now starts to refocus on its main purpose – making great programmes that audiences love and trust.
"In doing this it will need to take a long, hard look at the way it operates and put in place the changes required to ensure it lives up to the standards that the public expects. Tony Hall is the right person to lead this and I am delighted that he is taking on this role. For its part I want to make sure that the Trust gives Tony Hall whatever help and support he needs to re-build the BBC's management around him.
"Tony Hall has been an insider and is a currently an outsider. As an ex-BBC man he understands how the Corporation's culture and behaviour make it, at its best, the greatest broadcaster in the world. And from his vantage point outside the BBC, he understands the sometimes justified criticisms of the Corporation – that it can be inward looking and on occasions too institutional.
"But perhaps most importantly, given where we now find ourselves, his background in news will prove invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild both its reputation in this area and the trust of audiences."
Lord Hall said he believes in the BBC and is passionate about its services: "This organisation is an incredibly important part of what makes the United Kingdom what it is. And of course it matters not just to people in this country – but to tens of millions around the world too.
"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.
The appointment was made following a direct approach from the BBC Trust to Lord Hall. The Trust did not approach any other candidates. Lord Hall did not apply for the job when it last became vacant as a result of Mark Thompson's departure.
(Source : Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union)