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Sunday, 11 November 2012

BBC Fiasco: Patten and Boaden Must Go Now

Last night, in his most recent blithering about turn, George Entwistle resigned as Director General of the BBC.

Only hours earlier he had declared his intention to weather the storm and remain as head of the BBC.

He had been in post for only 54 days, having previously served as a BBC journalist for 23 years. What a tumultuous 54 days those have been.

As much as we loathe the BBC, we are actually quite sad to see Entwistle go. His continued presence was having a seriously debilitating effect on the Corporation, with trust in the national broadcaster descending to an all time low according to a recent Comres poll

But it wasn't all Entwistle's fault. He placed his trust, albeit misguided, in the senior executives and editorial teams working in the bowels of the BBC's massive hierarchy. They let him down badly. The BBC's finest journalists, who should have been well equipped to read the road ahead, failed to warn Entwistle of potential disaster waiting just around the corner.

It is almost impossible to believe that no-one in the Newsnight team, which was already facing unprecedented editorial scrutiny, took the initiative to warn the Director General's office of their report into abuse at the Bryn Esten children's home. Surely the Head of News, Helen Boaden, is as culpable as Entwistle for failing to scrutinise and moderate Newsnight's controversial output?

News is breaking this evening that Entwistle has received a full year's salary, £450k, as a pay off. What on Earth do the BBC Trust think they're doing by approving such a generous severance package for Entwistle's disastrous tenure? Having resigned he was actually only entitled to half that figure, but has somehow managed to negotiate very favourable departure terms.

The Chairman of the BBC Trust, Chris Patten, is also a worthy recipient of considerable criticism. He appointed Entwistle from a broad field of arguably better qualified candidates, has seen his man buffeted by two months of scandal, and has now rubber stamped Entwistle's reprehensible golden handshake.

Patten and Boaden must both go. They must go soon, and at minimal expense, if the public is to regain any trust at all in the BBC.

1 comment:

33_hertz said...

Good post, I agree Fatty Pang and the lying sack Boaden should go. I see she is simply standing down during the inquiry and being re-instated once it's over. Disgusting.
Trust in the BBC? Surely no one in their right mind would. And to top it off, Children In Need is going ahead, you couldn't make all this crap up.