A chance to repair the damage

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With yesterday's appointment of Mark Thompson, Channel 4's boss, as its new director general, the BBC can finally hope to put Hutton "behind us", as Richard Sambrook, head of news said recently.

With yesterday's appointment of Mark Thompson, Channel 4's boss, as its new director general, the BBC can finally hope to put Hutton "behind us", as Richard Sambrook, head of news said recently.

In fact it can do rather more than that. After all the damage caused by Hutton and the over hasty reaction of the governors in letting go of Greg Dyke, it has a chance to regroup under a new chairman, Michael Grade, and a new chief executive. Hutton can be seen as a backward step in a development set in motion by Greg Dyke and the then chairman, Gavyn Davies, which can now be resumed.

Both the new men have the advantage of having worked for the BBC and left it for Channel 4, which gives them a strong sense of the commercial world as well as mutual understanding. A good working relationship between chairman and chief executive of the BBC has all too often been absent before. But their chief asset is that they will have the full support of the Corporation, and knowledge of it, as they start the urgent process of campaigning for a renewal of the Royal Charter, leaving Hutton a distant and distasteful memory.

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