Former ITN editor-in-chief Richard Tait has been appointed a BBC governor, after impressing chairman Michael Grade with his contribution to the recent review of the corporation’s editorial processes, writes Wale Azeez.
Tait, director of Cardiff University’s Centre for Journalism Studies, has replaced Baroness Hogg, whose term of office on the BBC governors’ board ended in February.
The BBC confirmed this week that as a governor who must declare his other media interests, Tait will give up his weekly Financial Times column on broadcasting.
His appointment marks a return to the BBC, which, as editor of Newsnight and special events programmes, he left in 1987 to join ITN.
He also previously edited The Money Programme.
Tait is a former editor of Channel 4 News. He also spent 15 years at ITN – seven of those as editor-in-chief – before retiring in the summer of 2002. He is currently vice chairman of the International Press Institute, and a Fellow of the Society of Editors and of the Royal Television Society.
He joins the corporation alongside new vice chairman of the board, Anthony Salz, a City lawyer.
Tait’s expertise will bring journalism into the heart of the BBC’s administration process. Part of his brief is to ensure that recommendations from the Neil Report are followed. He will oversee the new programme complaints procedure, which commences next month.
Grade said, “There could be no better time for Richard Tait to be joining the board of governors.
“His experience of broadcast journalism is second to none. His wise counsel will be particularly valuable as the BBC implements the recommendations of the Neil Report and the complaints handling review.”