Lord Tony Hall has been chief executive of the Royal Opera House since 2001. He was also the BBC‘s head of news and current affairs from 1996-2001. His appointment to the BBC’s top job comes just 12 days after the resignation of former BBC director general George Entwistle amid ongoing crises at the venerable broadcaster. When Entwistle stepped down, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten promised he would waste no time in naming a new chief and although Hall is a former BBC employee, his appointment falls in line with speculation that a new director general would come from outside the corporation’s current staff. Patten today said Hall was “the right person to lead the BBC out of its current crisis” and that his journalism experience would be “invaluable as the BBC looks to rebuild its reputation.”

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Hall, who will take over from interim director general Tim Davie, will be receive an annual salary of £450K, the same that Entwistle was paid. He is currently also deputy chairman of Channel 4 Television, a post it is presumed he will now have to abandon. In a statement, Hall said, “I believe passionately in the BBC and that’s why I have accepted Lord Patten’s invitation to become Director General. This organisation is an incredibly important part of what makes the United Kingdom what it is. And of course it matters not just to people in this country – but to tens of millions around the world too. It’s been a difficult few weeks – but together we’ll get through it. I’m committed to ensuring our news services are the best in the world. I’m committed to making this a place where creative people, the best and the brightest, want to work. And I know from my first days here as a news trainee, to my time as head of news and current affairs, to my time now at the Royal Opera House, that I can’t do it on my own. Having the right teams working together, sparking off each other, is key. And I want to build a world class team to lead a world class BBC.”