Media News - Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The BBC paid its former director-general $772,000 after only 54 days at the helm because it was the only viable way to get him to leave in the wake of the broadcaster's sex abuse scandal, the chairman of its governing body said Tuesday. George Entwistle resigned this month after coming under heavy criticism over the venerable broadcaster's coverage of a child sex abuse scandal, which implicated one of its biggest stars and raised questions about its news judgment. The payout of a full year's salary was "one hell of a lot of money" but the broadcaster's lawyers advised that working out a deal with Entwistle would be cheaper than firing him, Chris Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust, conceded to Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee investigating the scandal. Entwistle lost confidence after failing to convincingly explain a decision by "Newsnight," the BBC's flagship news program, to shelve an investigation into claims that the late BBC personality Jimmy Savile was a serial sexual predator of young women. The show had also falsely accused a retired senior politician of being a pedophile. The problems at "Newsnight" are the subject of an independent investigation expected to complete its work next month, Patten said. The BBC Trust recently appointed Tony Hall, former head of its news division, to take over as director-general. (Star Tribune)
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