Who are the possible successors to Mark Thompson as BBC Director-General?
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Monday 19 March 2012
She would be a safe pair of hands as the first female Director General. A key BBC strategist with a broad range of management experience she was greatly valued by Mark Thompson and has a deep understanding of the future challenges facing the organisation. But she lacks public profile and needs to show she has the necessary charisma to run a global institution like the BBC.
She is the director of BBC News and, like Mark Thompson, has impeccable journalistic credentials. A former controller of Radio 4, she would be a popular appointment as Director General among the intellectual core of the audience and would be popular with programme makers. A former presenter of “Woman’s Hour”, she is known as a moderniser.
Known for being fiercely ambitious and competitive – he takes part in extreme marathons – Davie’s point of difference over his rivals is his commercial experience outside the media as an executive at PepsiCo and Procter & Gamble. He has done a good job as head of BBC audio and music but lacks experience across the portfolio.
Another steady internal candidate, the highbrow head of BBC Vision has extensive experience in BBC journalism – he was an editor of “Newsnight” - and in wider programme-making areas, having launched “The Culture Show” on BBC Two.
One of the real stars of the television industry, Fincham made his fortune running commercial company TalkbackThames and has helped to revitalise the fortunes of ITV as its Director of Television. He has even run BBC One, except that he lost that job over the “Crowngate” fiasco, the one blot on his record.
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