New BBC director general will take pay cut when he replaces Tony Hall

PUBLISHED: 12:10 05 June 2020 | UPDATED: 12:10 05 June 2020

Tim Davie, who will replace Tony Hall as the director-general of the BBC. Photograph: BBC/PA Wire.

Tim Davie, who will replace Tony Hall as the director-general of the BBC. Photograph: BBC/PA Wire.

Tim Davie will take a pay cut when he replaces Tony Hall as the director general of the BBC.

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The chief executive of BBC Studios, the corporation’s commercial production and distribution arm, will earn £525,000 a year when he takes over the post, down from the £600,000 he earned in 2018/19.

He has also agreed to take a salary stand-still and be paid the same as Lord Hall - £450,000 - until August 2021, as all senior managers at the BBC are currently on a salary freeze.

Davie, who will be the 17th director-general, was among the favourites to replace Lord Hall since he announced in January that he was departing after seven years in the post.

Other contenders were reported to be BBC director of content Charlotte Moore, former Daily Telegraph editor Will Lewis and Amazon executive Doug Gurr.


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Lord Hall’s exit comes amid a turbulent time for the BBC, with the spotlight on a number of issues around equal pay, diversity, free TV licences for the over-75s and competition from streaming services such as Netflix, as well as the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Lord Hall previously warned of a potential loss of £125 million for the broadcaster as a result of the pandemic.

Davie was acting director general for four months following George Entwistle’s resignation in November 2012 before Lord Hall’s appointment, and previously served as the corporation’s head of audio.

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Before joining the BBC in 2005, he worked in marketing at PepsiCo Europe and Procter and Gamble.

Davie, who will take over the job on September 1, said: “I am honoured to be appointed the BBC’s next director-general.

“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. Much great work has been done, but we will continue to reform, make clear choices and stay relevant. I am very confident we can do this because of the amazing teams of people that work at the BBC.”

Lord Hall said: “I’m delighted that Tim has been appointed as the next director general. He is a fantastic leader. I wish him every success for the future. I know that the BBC is in safe hands.”

Pascale Robinson, campaigns officer at the We Own It group, said that viewers must be given a stronger voice.

“With the BBC appointing a new director general, it’s vital that it enters this new era by strengthening its role as our public service broadcaster.

“That means we need it to transition into a broadcaster that is reflective of and accountable to us - the public. In doing so, we need a board independent of government interference with a citizens panel to give us a voice. We also need the new director general to tackle the key issues at the BBC - making it more diverse in both staff and content, capping excessive pay, and putting a stronger emphasis on regional journalism.

“Meanwhile, the government must take this period of transition as a time to end their dangerous attacks on our BBC. They need to secure its funding for the long term and make sure the BBC stays a publicly owned and funded broadcaster.

“Taken together, this would give us the BBC we all deserve.”

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