Friday February 15, 2013
BBC announces staff shake-up after Savile
LONDON: The BBC announced a staff shake-up on Thursday in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, including the replacement of the head of news who was criticised for her handling of the crisis over child sex abuse.
Helen Boaden came under fire in an official report into the broadcaster's response to revelations that Savile, one of the BBC's top television and radio presenters who died in 2011, was a prolific paedophile.
She will move to a new position as director of BBC radio on April 15. The change was announced by incoming director-general Tony Hall, who was put at the helm of the world's largest public service broadcaster after the resignation of George Entwistle over the Savile scandal.
Hall also announced that James Purnell, a former BBC executive who served as culture minister under the last Labour government, would return to the corporation as director of strategy and digital.
A police investigation last month concluded that Savile was a predatory sex offender who abused youngsters as young as eight over more than 50 years, using his fame to rape and assault victims on BBC premises, in schools and hospitals.
The revelations sparked a crisis at the BBC, both over how he was able to carry out such attacks and about the broadcaster's failure to report the claims against him when they were first raised in the weeks after his death aged 84.
An official report in December cleared the BBC of any cover-up but exposed "chaos and confusion" in the handling of the scandal, with Boaden among those criticised.
The report sparked the resignation of the BBC's deputy director of news, and led to the editor and deputy editor of the flagship current affairs programme Newsnight being replaced, but Boaden kept her job. - AFP