British Broadcasting Corporation's director-general Mark Thompson will step down later this year
British Broadcasting Corporation's director-general Mark Thompson will step down later this year after eight years at the helm of the world's largest public broadcaster.
Thompson, the BBC's longest-serving director-general since the 1970s, will relinquish his post following the London Olympic Games in July and August that the commercial-free network will broadcast, officially stepping away some time in the autumn, the company reported yesterday, citing an internal letter.
The BBC has been cutting jobs and consolidating offices to grapple with a reduced budget. The company, which is funded by fees from UK television viewers, said in October that it will cut 2,000 jobs and move offices and production outside its London base in an effort to reduce costs after its funding was frozen. The BBC has undergone spending cuts of more than £1 billion (Dh5.82 billion) since 2008.
Cost cutting plans
Chris Patten, the chairman of the trust that sets BBC strategy and budgets, said in September that the radio and TV broadcaster may have to eliminate some foreign news bureaus. The company agreed in July to share its right to broadcast the Formula One auto-racing series with British Sky Broadcasting Group to save money. Thompson took the job in May 2004, leaving his position as CEO at Channel 4 television, a separate UK public broadcaster. His predecessor, Greg Dyke, stepped down after the BBC's editorial policy was censured for a broadcast report that said intelligence justifying Britain's involvement in the Iraq war had been exaggerated. The report was found to be faulty after an investigation by the UK House of Lords, and the BBC was criticised for having a defective editorial system. (Gulfnews.com 23/03)