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
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
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

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions