BBC will pay cost of C4 finding new chief executive

The BBC will pay executive search fees related to Channel 4’s quest for a new chief executive.

The move follows director-general designate Mark Thompson being released early from his contract with the independent broadcaster.

Thompson, appointed the BBC’s new boss by chairman Michael Grade last month, will start the job on 22 June. The corporation will pay a fivefigure sum related to Channel 4’s search for a new chief executive.

Both broadcasters need leadership in place as soon as possible, to oversee what are critical periods in their development.

The BBC is in the run-up to negotiations with the Government to have its Charter renewed, while Channel 4 has been engaged in talks with Five regarding a possible merger.

According to a BBC statement: “The BBC is grateful to the Channel 4 board for agreeing to the early release of Mark Thompson to enable him to join the BBC as its director-general on 22 June. The BBC has agreed to reimburse Channel 4’s one-off search fee incurred in their recruitment of a new chief executive.”

It also said Channel 4 had agreed to “reciprocate in similar circumstances in the future”.

By Wale Azeez

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