BBC Trust role is no part-time affair


Ian Burrell
Sunday 29 June 2014 16:30 BST

Applications for chairman of the BBC Trust closed on Friday. The change of rules to allow the chairman to give just two days a week to the role (instead of three to four) sounds like an attempt to woo Lord Coe, the Conservatives’ preferred candidate. Lord Coe is keen on becoming President of the International Association of Athletics Federations next year.

It’s extraordinary that the Government thinks a role that engulfed a seasoned figure like Chris Patten can be carried out with such minimal commitment.

As it is, with the Trust structure widely disliked, the job looks as if it has no more than two years to run – which might put off other candidates such as former Sony boss Howard Stringer and Marjorie Scardino, ex-head of Pearson. It was hardly a good career move for Lord Patten or his predecessor Michael Lyons, who never appeared content in the role.

If anything, it’s a full-time position. In times of BBC crisis, which are not infrequent, it’s a seven-day job.

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