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BBC promotes from within as Davie named director general

The BBC, the UK public-broadcaster, has named Tim Davie, chief executive of its BBC Studios commercial subsidiary, as the successor to director general Tony Hall.

Davie will replace the 69-year-old Hall, who is to retire this summer, and will take up the position on September 1.

Davie became chief executive of BBC Worldwide, which merged with the BBC’s production arm in 2018 to form BBC Studios, in April 2013.

He shot to prominence in the sports business sector after turning down the role of English Premier League chief executive. That post was eventually handed to the promoted Richard Masters following a protracted recruitment process.

Davie was previously named acting BBC director general in November 2012.

He will now be tasked with leading the broadcasters out of the coronavirus crisis and negotiating with the UK government about the future of the licence fee. The government is scheduled to review the funding level from 2022 onwards.

Davie’s salary has been disclosed as £525,000 (€587,700/$664,600) per year, which is £75,000 less than he was earning at BBC Studios but £75,000 more than Hall’s final salary.

Davie said today (Friday): “This has been a critical time for the UK and these past few months have shown just how much the BBC matters to people. Our mission has never been more relevant, important or necessary. I have a deep commitment to content of the highest quality and impartiality.

“Looking forward, we will need to accelerate change so that we serve all our audiences in this fast-moving world.”

The BBC said that the director general’s salary has not been increased since 2012 and that Davie’s salary represents a level that it would have been had inflation been applied. Davie has agreed to be paid the same as Hall until August 2021, while all senior managers at the BBC are currently on a salary freeze.

The BBC has already warned of £125m in savings that it will need to make this year as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.