BBC to Pay George Entwistle $715,000 After Exit From Director General Post

Entwistle - H2012

Entwistle - H2012

The news that the top executive will get a year's salary after resigning causes a Twitter backlash from critics.

LONDON - George Entwistle, who resigned as director general of the BBC late Saturday, will get $715,000 (£450,000), or a year's salary, following his exit.

The BBC Trust late Sunday confirmed an ITV News report about his departure payout.

BBC representatives couldn't immediately be reached for comment on further details.

Entwistle had resigned amid a deepening crisis of confidence in the U.K. public broadcaster. BBC flagship TV news show Newsnight had wrongly accused a British politician of child abuse and had to retract its report. Entwistle apologized for the mistake as the BBC director general is not only the top business leader of the broadcaster, but also serves as its editor-in-chief. But he later resigned.

The decision came after weeks of negative headlines for the BBC amid the sexual abuse scandal surrounding late former BBC host Jimmy Savile and the revelation that Newsnight late last year had dropped a planned report about the allegations against him.

News of the exit pay for Entwistle drew some negative first comments on Twitter.

Alex Forrest, political correspondent for ITV News, tweeted: "Already a political backlash over Entwistle's payoff (a year's salary of £450,000). 'Reward for Failure' is how some have described it."

Jason Farrington, who on Twitter describes himself as "globe-trotting for Channel 4 News as a shoot/edit cameraman," said: "I am all for people falling on their sword if necessary - but a 450 grand licence-fee-funded sword is a bit much. ?#BBC? ?#entwistle?."

Other Twitter reactions included such comments as "Not bad for 54 days work" and Why the hell is Entwistle getting a £450,000 payoff for 2 months' work which he messed up two stories, pulling one, then libelling another?"

Another person mentioned the severance and tweeted: "What a disgrace."

Twitter: @georgszalai