BBC Defends COO's $3,900 Quarterly Taxi Bill (Report)

New BBC Boss

George Entwistle is the new big man at Britain’s Grey Lady, known lovingly as the Beeb. The former BBC journalism trainee nabbed the top job at the BBC this week, becoming the BBC’s 15th director general. the country's highest-profile TV industry job. Analysts described the news veteran as a “safe pair of hands” for the British broadcaster, but his lack of experience in the digital media business raised some concerns.

Caroline Thomson's cab bills amount to 17 annual license fee payments required from U.K. taxpayers.

LONDON: One of the BBC's most highly-paid executives accounted for more than a tenth of all the taxi expenses claimed by almost 100 senior figures, according to the Independent.

COO Caroline Thomson – who was in the running to be the new director-general – put in claims totaling more than £2,500 ($3,900) for the three-month period ended March.

Thomson, who receives a total remuneration package of £328,000 ($515,300), also claimed back a £2 ($3) cash machine charge from a U.S. visit, according to her latest expenses claims, which have just been published.

Her taxi spend for the period came to £2,551.59 ($4,000), averaging at just over £25.50 ($40) each time she took a cab. Thomson's spend equals 17 license fees required from U.K. taxpayers, said the Independent.

The entire spend for 97 executives over the three months is £24,770 ($38,900), down 11 percent on the previous quarter.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "Caroline Thomson is responsible for the operations division which is based across a number of different locations around the U.K., so her role involves a considerable amount of travel."