Time ticking away for Mark Thompson?

4 December 2012

7:32 PM

4 December 2012

7:32 PM

Is the net beginning to tighten on Mark Thompson? The Sunday Times have run a story on either the ex-BBC chief, Savile or Newsnight every week since 28 October, and a picture is emerging that Thompson may have known more than we had previously thought about Newsnight’s now infamous axed investigation of Savile.

I hear that Thompson, now the $4 million chief executive of the New York Times, has been forced to postpone two long-standing open meetings with his new colleagues.


He was originally going to chair the ‘Town Hall’ meetings on December 17 and 18. These were supposed to have been ‘a chance for as many people as possible to see me face to face and for us to begin a conversation about the future direction of this great news organization’.

In an email sent to staff across the pond last Friday, Thompson wrote that the reason he had decided to push the meetings to a later date was:

‘because I expected them to come after the publication of Nick Pollard’s enquiry into the BBC’s handling of the Newsnight investigation into Jimmy Savile.  I know that there’s been considerable – and quite understandable – interest in this topic inside as well as outside The Times.  I wanted to address questions about it at the Town Halls once the enquiry was out and all the facts were known. It now turns out that Nick Pollard will not submit his report at the end of November as originally planned but some weeks later.  As a result, I believe it makes sense to move the Town Halls to early in the new year. By then, anyone who is interested can look at the report and I can address their questions on the basis of the facts’.

It looks like early 2013 could be a turbulent time for the Gray Lady…

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Show comments
  • rndtechnologies786

    Good thought.

  • Don Reed

    There are those of us in the New York City area who are quite interested in this possibly being the last thing that Pinch Sulzberge screws up (in his eternal reign of error) before, miraculously, one day, he’s finally shown to the Final Exit door at the New York Times.

    Of course, if Disney ends up owning the paper…

    • spongeblog

      Walt Disney presents The New York Times of Folly
      headlines: “For Donald Duck, a Debate Over Words.”
      “Nemo Finds His Mother- and Father.”
      “Wreck-It Ralph’s Home Improvement”

  • salieri

    Could be the closest shave he’s ever had, going forward. Our hearts bleed, collectively.

    • spongeblog

      Looks like they took a little too much off the top!

  • Gerry Dorrian

    Was Savil abusing while Thompson was DG? Given how much of an open secret this appears to have been, I want to see every DG who served while the abuse was going on arrested.

    • Jingleballix

      Now, now, don’t be disingenuous.

      This not when Saville was ‘active’……….it’s about when the BBC found out, who knew and what – if anything – they did to bring Saville to account, or in the VERY VERY least, ensure that the BBC did not eulogise him as some kind of folk hero.

      Thompson seems to have some legitimate questions to answer.

      [If you want to ensure that every BBC DG is quizzed………may I suggest you solicit the aid of Seamus Milne to look for some diaries].