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BBC names George Entwistle its new DG

UK public broadcaster the BBC has appointed George Entwistle its new director general. Currently the boss of BBC production unit BBC Vision, he will take over from outgoing DG Mark Thompson this autumn, the BBC Trust confirmed this morning.

Entwistle will command a smaller salary than Thompson, earning £450,000 a year. Thompson earns £671,000. The new BBC boss is a veteran of the organisation having joined in 1989 as a journalism trainee. He has served in various positions at the Corporation including controller of knowledge commissioning and head of current affairs.

Entwistle beat out other candidates in the two-stage interview process including Ofcom boss Ed Richards and BBC COO Caroline Thomson.

“His experience of making and delivering great programmes that audiences love – built up through many years of working for the Corporation – will prove invaluable as he and his team work to ensure the BBC remains the greatest broadcaster in the world,” said BBC Trust Chairman Lord Patten. “Above all George is passionate about the BBC, is committed to its public service ethos and has a clear vision for how it can harness the creativity and commitment of its staff to continue to serve audiences in ever more innovative ways.”

Entwistle said:”I’m delighted that the Chairman and Trustees have decided I’m the right person for the job. And I’m very excited about all that lies ahead. I love the BBC and it’s a privilege to be asked to lead it into the next stage of its creative life.”

Current DG Mark Thompson said: “I think this is a brilliant appointment. George has shown himself to be an outstanding leader with an intuitive understanding of public sector broadcasting. He has a formidable track record as a programme maker and in recent years has also shown his calibre as a leader. I wish him and the BBC every success in the years to come.”