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Acting BBC Boss Cuts Short Sky News Interview

Tim Davie - H 2012
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"I have got a job and I will get on with it," says Tim Davie Monday afternoon on the news channel as he does the U.K. TV circuit.

 

LONDON - “I will go now, because I have got a lot to do. The BBC is taking action…I have got a job and I will get on with it.”

Those were acting BBC director general Tim Davie's comments as he cut short a Sky News interview here on Monday afternoon. He did the TV circuit following the Saturday night resignation of director general George Entwistle.

Asked on his way out if more heads are going to roll at the BBC, Davie simply said "thank you" and left the studio after an interview that had lasted about seven minutes.

Sky News anchor Dermot Murnaghan said after Davie's exit: "I bet he wouldn't do that to the BBC."

Sky News is part of pay TV giant BSkyB, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns a 39 percent stake.

Murnaghan asked Davie some tough questions in the interview, including some repeat questions.

For example, he started off by asking why Davie was a good interim BBC boss despite a lack of long-standing journalism experience.

"I think I can lead the BBC at this point," he responded, highlighting his first decision, announced Monday morning, was to establish clear lines of responsibility and reporting in the news division. "Something I don't like is where you have got messy decision making, lack of clarity."

"I've been given the job. That's what I'm going to do," he added. And he said he had people with decades of journalistic experience running the BBC's news operations and shows.

Davie also highlighted that he ran some editorial operations in radio for the past four years. 

In the Sky News interview, Davie also described the current crisis at the BBC as a "major problem." He added: "It has been a really troublesome time."

The acting BBC director general drew some Twitter criticism for wrapping up the Sky News appearance on his time table. But he earlier had earned positive reviews for an appearance on BBC News, his first since his appointment late Saturday.

The BBC has said Davie had to run to an interview for Radio 4 after the Sky News appearance.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai