George Entwistle starts work as director-general of BBC

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George Entwistle starts work as director-general of the BBC today and is expected to explain his vision of the corporation’s future to staff later in the week.

The 50-year-old takes over from Mark Thompson who will become president and chief ­executive of the New York Times Company in November.

Mr Entwistle will take on a much-reduced salary of £450,000, a £200,000-plus ­reduction on that paid to the outgoing boss.

He will send a short e-mail message to staff today, but is expected to speak at greater length and outline some of the challenges facing the corporation in a speech a few days later.

He will meet BBC staff and programme-makers this week.

Among the challenges he faces are maintaining quality and staff morale with less money than his predecessor had for much of his time at the top and negotiating the renewal of the BBC charter in 2016.

He has previously been a current affairs programme-maker and until recently was in charge of the corporation’s TV output as head of BBC Vision.

When his appointment was announced in July, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said both he and Entwistle thought there was room for improvement and they agreed the BBC could be “10 per cent or 20 per cent better” despite the cuts brought in after the latest licence fee settlement.