Mark Thompson's letter to The Sunday Times, Sunday 3 June 2012
BBC Director-General Mark Thompson has written a letter published in The Sunday Times today that states the BBC's position on the Newscorp/BskyB takeover bid. The letter is published below.
Martin Ivens ("The BBC has a dog in this Murdoch fight" Comment, last week) is mistaken in two respects about the BBC and News Corporation's bid to buy the whole of BSkyB.
The first is that the BBC was or is opposed to the bid itself. We weren't and aren't. Our point was only ever that the bid should be referred by ministers to the relevant competition authorities.
The second error is in relation to the implication that any corporate position the BBC took on the bid was likely to impair our ability to cover the story with strict impartiality.
When it became clear in 2010 that the BBC would take a corporate view about the referral of News Corporation bid, I recused myself from my duties as editor-in-chief as regards both the bid and the wider phone-hacking story and handed responsibility for both to senior colleagues within our news division. That separation remains in place.