Tony Hall is BBC DG

Tony Hall is BBC DG

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MUMBAI: The BBC Trust has appointed Tony Hall - Lord Hall of Birkenhead - as BBC DG following the departure of George Entwistle.

Lord Hall is currently Royal Opera House CEO. He was Chairman of the board for the Cultural Olympiad and was head of BBC News and Current Affairs from 1996 to 2001. He was a digital pioneer, launching 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.

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said, "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.

"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.

"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 will take up the post on a salary of ?450,000 per year.

Lord Hall said, "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."

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.

Entwhistle had to leave after allegations of child sex abuse done by late BBC television star Jimmy Saville came out. There was also a Newsnight report that had wrongly implicated a politician in child sex abuse.