BBC Director General Race Could be Delayed Due to Thin Shortlist – Variety


When eight years in the past an inner disaster propelled the then head of BBC Worldwide, Tim Davie, into the job of performing BBC director common, he was criticized for not sporting a tie.

The criticism didn’t stick and Davie, now CEO of BBC Studios and director of world, is rising because the favored candidate to change Tony Corridor, the outgoing director common, who introduced his deliberate departure in late January.

Underneath odd circumstances, the announcement of Corridor’s successor ought to have been imminent, however the coronavirus pandemic seems to have put the brakes on the recruitment course of.

It’s attainable that headhunters could delay the seek for the subsequent head of the BBC nonetheless additional owing to anxieties that the reported shortlist of 4 candidates contains just one girl.

Regardless of sounding out a variety of senior ladies that run British broadcasters and London-based producers, together with ITV’s Carolyn McCall, Channel 4’s Alex Mahon and All3Media’s Jane Turton, the one girl believed to be on the shortlist is Charlotte Moore, BBC director of content material.

“The important thing cause why folks like Carolyn and Alex aren’t focused on operating the BBC is as a result of doing it might contain a hefty pay lower,” says one senior U.Ok. TV govt. “Additionally, it wouldn’t look good to go away your organization throughout a nationwide well being emergency when your personal enterprise is in disaster due to the financial influence of the pandemic.”

Extremely, regardless of being crucial job in British broadcasting the position pays a mere £400,000 ($486,629) — peanuts in contrast with what industrial media bosses earn. If Davie, for instance, is profitable in getting the job, he’ll have to abdomen a substantial pay lower from his estimated £642,000 ($781,000) wage.

Don’t anticipate a flowery bonus, both.

Nonetheless, the ability and status of operating the BBC stays appreciable. The general public broadcaster’s affect on British life is immeasurable and its tender energy abroad is valued by even U.Ok. politicians who’re sceptical of how the BBC is funded by a obligatory licence charge.

The spectacular means it has to date dealt with the COVID-19 disaster solely provides to the kudos connected to the position — and why there is no such thing as a rush to appoint a brand new chief.

Apart from Davie and Moore, the opposite two contenders shortlisted by headhunters Odgers Berndtson are understood to be Doug Gurr, the New Zealand-born head of Amazon’s U.Ok. and Eire operations and Will Lewis, a former editor of the Each day Telegraph and ex-CEO and writer of the Wall Avenue Journal.

Lewis’s chances are high unlikely to have been helped by accusations within the British Excessive Court docket, revealed Wednesday, that he aided the concealment and destruction of tens of millions of emails relating to cellphone hacking on the Murdoch-owned U.Ok. newspapers, the Information of the World and the Solar.

In 2010 he grew to become group common supervisor at Information Group Newspapers, publishers of the Solar and the now defunct Information of the World, shuttered following the cellphone hacking scandal. Lewis has denied the allegations.

The issue for the headhunters is that with a query mark in opposition to Lewis’s utility, the shortlist appears very skinny certainly.

It’s attainable that different candidates, ideally ladies, may have to be added.

Among the many names doing the rounds are ex-Ofcom CEO Sharon White, the brand new chair of embattled British retailer John Lewis, and Carolyn Fairbairn, an ex-BBC and ITV strategist and erstwhile journalist who now runs the Confederation of British Business. She additionally launched the profitable UK digital platform, Freeview.

One report means that Corridor might stay on the BBC till the tip of the 12 months, along with his successor taking on in January. However whatever the appointment’s timing, insiders consider that Davie stays the candidate to beat.

“Tim is aware of the BBC inside out and having joined the BBC from Pepsi has real industrial expertise,” famous a former BBC program-maker. “Charlotte Moore is nice at content material however lacks Tim’s enterprise nous.”

Sooner or later, because the BBC’s funds are probably to come below additional strain, Davie’s industrial acumen is definite to be wanted greater than ever. He’s additionally somebody who’s in it for the lengthy recreation having labored on the BBC in a 123 of guidelines since 2005. Not for nothing is he a runner of marathons.

A BBC spokesman stated the recruitment course of had not been delayed.

(Pictured, L-R: Doug Gurr, Charlotte Moore, Tim Davie, Will Lewis)


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