Head of U.K. Media Regulator Applies for Top BBC Job

Ofcom CEO Ed Richards wants to become director general of the public broadcaster, with his agency vowing it will avoid conflicts of interest.

LONDON -- U.K. media regulator Ofcom said Monday that its CEO Ed Richards has applied for the director general job at the BBC.

There has been intense speculation about who might apply for the top post at the public broadcaster since current BBC head Mark Thompson said in March that he would exit after the Olympics.

"Robust procedures, agreed by the Ofcom chairman and the board, have been put in place to prevent any potential conflict of interest," Ofcom said in addressing potential concerns about current regulatory processes involving or affecting the BBC. "Ed has already stepped aside from all discussions and communication at all levels on matters where the BBC may have an interest. This includes board meetings, executive meetings and policy discussions, both formal and informal."

The BBC is understood to be looking for a new director general with digital and global skills who likely would have to accept a pay package that is less generous than Thompson's.

Other contenders for the BBC leadership are believed to include the pubcaster's current COO Caroline Thomson, BBC News director Helen Boaden, BBC Vision director George Entwistle and director of BBC Audio and Music Tim Davie, according to The Guardian.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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