New director-general will oversee 'transformative period' for BBC, says job advert for role

The BBC is advertising for a new director-general, saying the role offers the “opportunity to lead the organisation at a time of significant change”.

BBC News has announced plans to cut 450 jobs in a restructure designed to “modernise” the newsroom as audiences move away from traditional linear TV to digital platforms and on-demand services.

The successful candidate will replace outgoing director-general Lord Tony Hall, who leaves this summer after seven years.

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In the description for its top job, the BBC describes itself as “a standard-bearer for trust and impartiality in the coverage of news and current affairs” and both “a tech firm and a newsroom”.

The role of director-general is “about change”, the corporation says in its job advert that also sets out some of the challenges it is facing.

“The BBC has always been at the forefront of change in the media industry but today, as it approaches its centenary in 2022, it faces a unique set of challenges in a fast-moving and increasingly global market.

“New companies are entering the UK market, changing the traditional broadcasting ecology. A digital-native generation is growing up with a very different set of media habits and preferences.

“These new competitors and changing audience behaviours mean that the BBC is under unprecedented scrutiny over the breadth, quality, content and value of its services, as well as its funding…

“The next director-general will hold the role through a hugely critical and transformative period in the corporation’s history.”

The director-general acts as both chief executive and editor-in-chief of the BBC, as well as a member of the BBC Board.

Chief among their new roles will be negotiating the BBC’s next licence fee deal, which will take effect from April 2022. Boris Johnson’s Government launched a review into decriminalising licence fee evasion last week.

The BBC has said the new director-general can be based “in any of the BBC’s main UK bases”, which includes Salford, Greater Manchester, “but will require substantial time in London” and travel.

The BBC does not give a salary for the director-general role, but Lord Hall earns up to £450,000 a year.

So far there has never been a female director-general of the BBC.

Executive recruitment firm Odgers Berndston has been brought in to lead the recruitment process. Applications close 11 March 2020.

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