Corporate lawyer is named BBC's new deputy

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The Independent Online

In a break with BBC traditions, a prominent City lawyer was yesterday appointed as the new vice-chairman of the corporation and the deputy to Michael Grade.

In a break with BBC traditions, a prominent City lawyer was yesterday appointed as the new vice-chairman of the corporation and the deputy to Michael Grade.

Anthony Salz, 54, a senior partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, will succeed Lord Ryder, the former Conservative chief whip, who stood down in June.

As a corporate lawyer, Mr Salz - whose appointment was announced by Downing Street - will be expected to bring a greater commercial expertise to the board of governors. Mr Grade, who took up his position as chairman in May, said in his first annual report statement that he expected to see greater efficiency at the BBC.

Mr Salz is a low-profile figure but is highly regarded in legal circles, particularly as a mergers and acquisitions specialist. He advised on the BSB-Sky merger that led to the creation of BSkyB and on the Guinness takeover of Distillers.

He was educated at the public school Radley College and is a member of the private City club The Walbrook.

Lord Ryder was deputy to Gavyn Davies, the previous chairman who resigned after the publication of Lord Hutton's report into the death of the government scientist David Kelly.

Downing Street also announced yesterday that Richard Tait, the former editor-in-chief of ITN and editor of Channel 4 News, will join the BBC board of governors.

The appointment follows criticisms, made after the Hutton report, that the board lacks broadcasting and journalistic experience.

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