Lord Hall To Step Down As BBC’s Director General

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Lord Hall To Step Down As BBC’s Director General

Tony Hall is to step down as director general of the BBC in the summer, after seven years in the role.

Lord Hall said the decision had been hard, adding: “If I followed my heart I would genuinely never want to leave.”

But he said he felt it was important the BBC had the same leader for the BBC’s mid-term review in 2022 and the renewal of its charter in 2027.

BBC chairman Sir David Clementi said the search for the next DG would begin “within the next few weeks”.

He added that the BBC was “committed to selecting the best qualified person for the job”.

Speaking of Lord Hall, he said the corporation had been “lucky to have him”.

He described him as “an inspirational creative leader” who had “led the BBC with integrity and a passion for our values”.

Culture secretary Nicky Morgan thanked Lord Hall for his service, saying he had made “a huge contribution to public service broadcasting in his career”.

“In this ever changing broadcast landscape the next DG will need to build on Lord Hall’s success,” she wrote on Twitter.

‘Change has been tough’

In a letter to staff, Lord Hall said he believed he would be “leaving the BBC in a much stronger place than when I joined”.

His appointment in 2012 followed the resignation of George Entwistle in the wake of the Newsnight Lord McAlpine row.

Lord Hall said the BBC felt “a very different organisation” that was “more innovative, more open, more inclusive, more efficient [and] more commercially aware”.

“Change has been tough at times,” he wrote. “But I believe our recent record of transformation stands comparison with virtually any other creative organisation in the world.”

Presentational grey line

Analysis – BBC media editor Amol Rajan

Director general of the BBC is one of the most privileged, but also one of the most relentless and tough jobs in Britain – and it gets tougher every day, because of the technological context.

His successor will need to combine world-class political, commercial, editorial and managerial talent, while coming under a relentless barrage of criticism from all fronts.

The question of who gets it will depend on where the BBC Board and its chairman, Sir David Clementi, want to place their emphasis. Someone with commercial nous, or someone who can charm Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings? Someone with a track record at managing talent – or someone who can make a brave, correct call on a Panorama investigation?

The perfect candidate will be able to do all this – and therefore doesn’t exist.

Read more from Amol here

Presentational grey line

Lord Hall’s departure comes amid another turbulent time for the broadcaster, with issues around equal pay disputes, political bias, diversity and TV licences at the top of its agenda.

Earlier this month presenter Samira Ahmed won an employment tribunal in a dispute over equal pay, while radio presenter Sarah Montague has confirmed she won a settlement and an apology from the BBC after being treated “unequally”.

The BBC has also faced criticism over its reporting on the recent general election, presenter pay and a lack of diversity both on and off screen.

Last year TV presenter and campaigner June Sarpong was appointed the BBC’s first director of creative diversity in a bid to improve

Lord Hall, 68, joined the corporation as a trainee in the Belfast newsroom in 1973.

He became editor of the Nine O’Clock News at the age of 34 and was appointed chief executive of BBC News in 1996.

Before becoming the BBC’s 16th director general, he took up roles as the chief executive of the Royal Opera House and deputy chairman of Channel 4.

Lord Hall, whose official title is The Lord Hall of Birkenhead, was made a cross-bench peer in 2010.

Melt the Snow – Shayne Ward (Lyrics)

Reaction to news

Bonnie Greer, who served alongside Lord Hall on the Royal Opera House board, noted that the BBC had been going through a difficult period.

http://www.bbc.com

“I think it’s been a lot of pressure for the organisation and a lot of pressure for him,” the playwright and critic said on The Victoria Derbyshire Show.

Talent agent Jonathan Shalit said Lord Hall had been “fantastic” in the director general role and that it was “normal” for someone in his position to move on after seven years.

“He was going to be moving on soon,” he told the same BBC programme. “I think the point he makes about making sure one person oversees the midway point of the licence fee is important.”

Lord Hall To Step Down As BBC’s Director General

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