Ex-bbc Chief Under Fire From Paper Where He's Now Ceo
New questions have been raised about when former BBC Director General Mark Thompson learned about allegations that the public broadcaster's famed host Jimmy Savile had sexually abused numerous children, many in his dressing room at the BBC, over a decades-long period. The questions are raised in a report in today's (Friday) New York Times, where Thompson began work this week as president and CEO. In it, the Times discloses that 10 days before Thompson left the BBC in September, his lawyers threatened to sue the London Sunday Times for defamation over an article it was preparing claiming that Thompson and another BBC executive had been involved in killing a report by the BBC newsmagazine Newsnight about Savile. Reporters for the Sunday newspaper, the Times reported, had previously contacted the BBC to ask whether Thompson and BBC News Director Helen Boaden were party to the concealment of the truth when the Newsnight report was shelved. The article never appeared. An aide to Thompson said that while he had authorized the letter to be sent, he was not aware of its contents. Thompson himself, the newspaper said, declined to comment. In the past he has repeatedly said that he never heard any allegations or received any complaints about Jimmy Savile.