Former BBC Director is New New York Times CEO

By Chris Ariens 

The new New York Times CEO has a TV background. Mark Thompson, the outgoing director general of the BBC, was named CEO of The Times today, succeeding Janet Robinson who left the company with a golden parachute last December.

The Times’ Christine Haughney and Amy Chozick write about their boss’s, boss’s, boss’s new boss, whose background is in TV news production.

In 2000, Mr. Thompson became the BBC’s director of television. He has served as BBC Worldwide’s director general since 2004 and added chairman to his title this year. As director general, he oversaw 20,000 employees globally and 400,000 hours of programming, according to the BBC Web site.


Thompson joined BBC in 1979 as a production trainee and later helped launch BBC news programs “Watchdog” and “Breakfast Time.” He became Editor of the Nine O’Clock News in 1988 and of “Panorama,” which bills itself as the world’s longest-running investigative TV show, in 1990.

The Times says Thompson is known for his digital expansion of the BBC. He “championed the BBC’s collaboration in YouView, a joint venture with ITV, Channel 4 and other channels that provides digital TV. He has also seen cost cuts at the publicly-funded broadcaster, something the folks at The Times, and most newspaper companies, have become very familiar with.