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BBC Names Tim Davie Acting Director General

BBC Keeps Olympics Through 2020

The executive, who has supposed to become the CEO of BBC Worldwide, will step in after the resignation of George Entwistle.

LONDON - Tim Davie has been appointed acting director-general of the BBC following the resignation of George Entwistle.

A BBC News report mentioned the appointment of the executive, who recently was named CEO of BBC Worldwide and was supposed to take on that role in December, late Saturday.

Davie has been the BBC's director of audio and music operations. He is a former marketer who worked at PepsiCo before joining the BBC in 2005 as its marketing director and taking over its music division in 2008.

A BBC spokeswoman declined to comment on the appointment.

At PepsiCo, Davie was vp, marketing and franchise of the company's European business, managing business franchises across 10 international markets, as well as overseeing global brand marketing outside of North America.

This business and marketing background was seen as making him a good leader for BBC Worldwide, the broadcaster's commercial arm. But observers on Saturday night immediately raised questions about his lack of journalistic experience, which some argued the broadcaster would need amid the current crisis.

In accepting Entwistle's resignation, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said the broadcaster's reputation has been suffering amid the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal. Mentioning a recent Newsnight report that wrongly alleged abuse by a British politician, which pushed Entwistle over the edge, Patten said it was "unacceptable, shoddy journalism."

The BBC didn't immediately say who would take over the BBC Worldwide next month and when it would pick a permanent director general. Davie was supposed to replace John Smith as the head of BBC Worldwide. It wasn't immediately clear late Saturday if Smith could temporarily continue his job.

In his current role as the BBC’s director of audio & music, Davie is responsible for BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4, BBC digital radio stations and the broadcaster's Asian Network. He also oversees the three BBC orchestras in England, the BBC Singers, the BBC Proms music events and its music output on TV and online.

Under Davie's leadership, "BBC Radio has attracted record numbers of listeners -- and helped make U.K. radio more popular than ever -- whilst delivering ambitious, high-quality programming and driving digital innovation," the BBC said when it recently announced him as the designated leader of the BBC Worldwide. 

Stuart Kemp contributed to this report.

 

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com 

Twitter: @georgszalai