Yentob is not on BBC final shortlist

ALAN YENTOB, the BBC's head of television, who was one of the front-runners to be the next director-general, has dropped off the governors' final shortlist for the job.

Mr Yentob, who would have been the popular choice of many of the BBC's creative and programming staff, is thought to have lost out because of a perceived lack of organisational skill.

His failure will have striking implications for the future of the corporation. The governors are known to have been impressed with Mr Yentob's belief that the BBC should abandon viewing figures as a measure of its success and reinvigorate its commitment to public service broadcasting.

He was also seen as the favourite of many in the BBC who want to see a reversal of the management reforms introduced by the current director- general, Sir John Birt.

The combination of Mr Yentob's stance on ratings and his popularity with members of staff may put him in a good position to become deputy director-general when the present deputy, Will Wyatt, retires later this year.

Tales of Mr Yentob's disorganised working style are legion at the BBC. One governor was reported yesterday as saying: "He has the greatest human presence, but it was pretty clear after his interviews that he was not going to make it. The man can't finish a sentence."

Despite having already run BBC1 and BBC2 successfully, sources say the governors balked at putting him in control of a corporation which employs 22,000 people and has a budget of pounds 2bn. "You cannot have someone in charge of a huge organisation who cannot stay focused on one idea long enough to say what's on his mind," one of the governors was reported as saying.

Those still in the race to become the next director-general are now thought to beTony Hall, the chief executive of BBC News, and Greg Dyke, the chairman of Pearson Television, whose candidacy has been overshadowed by his relationship with the Government. Mark Byford, the head of the BBC World Service, is still nominally in the running, and is known to have the backing of Sir John, but his relative inexperience and youth have made him an outside bet.

Richard Eyre, the chief executive of ITV, has been the subject of conflicting reports and may already be out of the race. He is thought to have too little experience of running a large organisation and has not spent enough time in television - he joined ITV less than two years ago from Capital Radio.

Mr Hall may benefit from those governors who are opposed to Mr Dyke because of the latter's donations to the Labour Party and close links to Tony Blair. Governors including Sir Kenneth Bloomfield and Adrian White are known to be worried that Mr Dyke could undermine the BBC's perceived political neutrality, even if they do not believe Mr Dyke himself would try to bend the BBC's line.

The selection process is running into what a senior figure described as "a meltdown" because the chairman of the governors, Sir Christopher Bland, is a strong supporter of Mr Dyke and is trying to push the other governors into accepting him.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker