Tony Hall starts as BBC Director General
Four months after being appointed DG, Tony Hall has started at the corporation whilst BBC Audio and Music gives way to BBC Radio.
Lord Hall has already appointed Helen Boaden as Director, BBC Radio, getting rid of the old ‘BBC Audio and Music’ header.
Boaden, who is currently Director, BBC News is a former Controller of BBC Radio 4 and had a long track record in radio before joining News. During her time at Radio 4, the network won Sony Radio Academy Station of the Year for two consecutive years in 2003 and 2004.
In an email to all staff this morning, he said the BBC’s best days lie ahead. Tony Hall also outlined a number of questions he believes the BBC needs to address over the coming months. He told staff that he wants to listen to their views, which – along with those of audiences and partners – will be key in shaping the BBC’s ambitions. He will review these themes with the BBC Trust and then set out his thinking in the autumn.
Subject: The BBC’s best days lie ahead of us
It is a great honour to start today as Director-General of the BBC. This is a very special organisation. It enriches millions of lives every day, here and the world over. It provokes strong opinions because people care passionately about it. The BBC has a unique history, a special place in the country’s heart and a vital part to play in its future. So I have a very real sense of the responsibility that comes with the role.
Recent times have been difficult for the BBC, but obviously far more so for those directly affected by these events. We are learning the lessons and thanks to the hard work of staff across the organisation under Tim’s excellent leadership, the BBC has moved forward. We are now winning back trust, something which will always be the most precious commodity for our organisation. We must never take it for granted.
I am confident about the future for the BBC for two key reasons: the calibre and quality of its people and the values we all share.
It is my job to enable you to do the best work of your lives, producing outstanding programmes and services, and to remove the distractions that get in the way of that ambition. The BBC sets incredibly high standards. At our best we provide a service like no other. Our challenge is to perform at our best all of the time.
In the coming weeks, I will set out how we can all shape the next chapter for the BBC as we move towards our centenary in 2022. Later this year I will share my thinking with the Trust before outlining our new ambitions for the BBC. We will need to make the most compelling case possible by listening to our audiences and partners, and building on our many strengths.
We have a unique opportunity to work together to shape the future of public service broadcasting. The kind of questions we need to ask ourselves include:
How can we further improve the quality and distinctiveness of our programmes?
How can we get closer to our audiences so they can get the content they want, when and how they want it?
How can we build an ever more creative and dynamic organisation where the best creative talents want to work?
What are the next big trends in technology and consumption that we need to grasp as we did with BBC Online and iPlayer?
How can we act as a catalyst for creative and digital economies, a global champion for the UK and a source of future jobs?
How can we make more of the BBC brand and content in the global marketplace?
How can we improve what it is like to work at the BBC?
How can we meet all of these ambitions within the means of the Licence Fee?
There are obviously other big questions and we must address them all whilst adapting to the ways in which Britain, its society, nations and regions are changing.
Critically this means me listening to you. Over the coming months I want to hear your thoughts about this next stage of our journey. I will be getting out around the BBC as much as possible.
I am proud to be leading the BBC as we start this next chapter together. We have always been pioneers. As we move towards our centenary it is a time for the BBC to be self-confident and optimistic about the future. You produce brilliant programmes and content, day in, day out. There can be no complacency but I firmly believe with imagination and hard work the BBC’s best days lie ahead of us.
Tony Hall. Director-General
Tim Davie, former head of BBC Audio and Music will now start his new role at BBC Worldwide after looking after the DG position since George Entwistle resigned. Tim’s new position will now incorporate a more strategic global perspective as CEO of BBC Worldwide and Director, Global, he’ll be responsible for developing the BBC’s international brand and editorial strategy.
Helen Boaden starts her new role on April 15th.