The BBC’s director general George Entwhistle resigned today after just 54 days on the job. The resignation comes a week after a report on the BBC’s premiere news program “Newsnight” which falsely implicated a former politician in a child abuse scandal. A statement from Entwhistle outside the BBC’s headquarters in London:
In the light of the fact that the director general is also the editor in chief and ultimately responsible for all content, and in the light of the unacceptable journalistic standards of the Newsnight film broadcast on Friday 2 November, I have decided that the honourable thing to do is to step down from the post of director general.
Entwistle, who took over for Mark Thompson who is the new CEO of The New York Times, has also had to deal with controversy over the investigation into former BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, who may have abused as many as 300 people over a 40-year-period. In that case “Newsnight” is accused of withholding a story on the matter.
Appearing at Entwhistle’s side during his public statement, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten said, “This is undoubtedly one of the saddest evenings of my public life.”