Rocked by the ill-timed decision by the BBC's leading news program - Newsnight - not to broadcast the Jimmy Saville expose (as well as on-going discussions about the culture within the BBC at the time of Saville's alleged wrongdoings) and following a major gaffe by Newsnight in seeming to allege that a former Conservative Party Minister was a pedophile, George Entwistle has resigned, according to The Daily Telegraph
The post of Director General of the BBC is one of the most coveted in global media. The Director-General of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is chief executive and editor-in-chief of the BBC. Many distinguished names have held the position for many years. The hapless Entwistle held on for less than two-months, occupying the post for the shortest period of time ever.
Entwistle joined BBC Television in 1989, becoming a producer with a primary focus on factual and political programmes. He rose to become the director of BBC Vision, and became the Director-General of the BBC on 17 September 2012.
George Entwistle resigned from his role as BBC Director General in the wake of the Newsnight child abuse broadcast, where BBC2's flagship program triggered a course of events whereby Lord McAlpine of West Green was falsely identified as a pedophile. McAlpine was an advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during the 1970s and 1980s.
The BBC News
notes that Newsnight reported on 2 November an abuse victim's claims against a leading 1980s Tory politician. This led to a series of Internet rumors, mainly via Twitter, that the politician was McAlpine. Later, the person making the allegations, stated that the perpetrator was not McAlpine.
According to The Independent
, Mr Entwistle said that he had decided to do the "honorable thing" and step down:
"When appointed to the role, with 23 years' experience as a producer and leader at the BBC, I was confident the trustees had chosen the best candidate for the post, and the right person to tackle the challenges and opportunities ahead.
"However the wholly exceptional events of the past few weeks have led me to conclude that the BBC should appoint a new leader."