Tony Hall is new director general

Tony Hall Tony Hall had a 28 year career in BBC News

Tony Hall, a former chief executive of BBC News, has been named as the new director general.

Lord Hall is currently chief executive of the Royal Opera House, and was chairman of the board for the Cultural Olympiad. He is also deputy chairman of Channel 4.

The 61-year old is expected to take charge of the Corporation as its 16th director general in early March, with acting DG Tim Davie to remain in the role until then. His annual salary will be £450,000.

The news was broken by business editor Robert Peston at about midday on Thursday and confirmed by the BBC Trust soon afterwards.

'The right person'

Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, pointed to Hall's 'formidable reputation' and said that the appointment marked 'the beginning of a new phase' for the BBC.

He believed Hall was 'the right person to lead the BBC out of its current crisis and help rebuild public trust in the organisation'.

The chairman spoke of Hall's status as both BBC 'outsider' and 'insider'.

Start Quote

[Tony Hall] is the right person to lead the BBC out of its current crisis and help rebuild public trust in the organisation”

End Quote Lord Patten Chairman, BBC Trust

'As an ex-BBC man he understands how the Corporation's culture and behaviour make it, at its best, the greatest broadcaster in the world. And from his vantage point outside the BBC, he understands the criticisms that are levelled at the corporation,' he said.

Hall's experience as a former BBC journalist would prove 'invaluable' as the BBC attempted to rebuild its reputation, added the chairman.

Former trainee

Hall previously had a 28 year career at the BBC, starting off as a trainee in the Belfast newsroom in the 1970s and working his way up to chief executive of BBC News by 1996.

He worked on a number of BBC News programmes in the early days, before becoming first editor and then director of news and current affairs under former DG John Birt.

He brought the radio and tv newsgathering operations together, established 5 live and oversaw the launch of both BBC News 24 and BBC News Online.

Lord Hall applied to be director general in 2000, but lost out to Greg Dyke. He is not believed to have applied for the job in the last round.

He subsequently left the Corporation for the Royal Opera House in 2001 going on to lead one of the country's largest and most complex arts institutions. He is widely credited with bringing financial stability to the ROH over the last decade.

'The past eight weeks have been very traumatic for the BBC,' judged Lord Patten. 'Let me say again that I am sorry that, while the vast majority of you have had absolutely nothing to do with the events that have put us under the spotlight, you have had to share in the pain and the shame that they have brought.'

George Entwistle resigned as director general on November 10 following a report by Newsnight that wrongly implicated a Tory peer in child abuse at a North Wales care home. He was in the job for just 54 days.

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