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THE government have announced that Gavyn Davies has been appointed as BBC Chairman for five years from October 1, following the resignation of Sir Christopher Bland to become Chairman of BT.
Davies has been Vice-Chairman of the BBC since January 2001. He has resigned as Vice-Chairman and the Government will now start the process of appointing his successor.
Davies said: “It is without doubt the greatest thrill and privilege of my professional life to have emerged from an open public appointment process as the next Chairman of the BBC. It is a privilege to succeed Sir Christopher Bland, given his formidable track-record, and in light of the challenges facing the BBC over the second half of this Charter.
“The BBC is a magnificent and precious organisation. It occupies a central place in the life of our nation because of what it stands for - independence, impartiality, journalistic freedom, creativity, quality and public service. As the broadcasting marketplace evolves in the next five years, these are the attributes that will ensure a thriving future for the BBC.
“I am inheriting a Board of the highest calibre and an organisation which exudes creativity and commitment at every turn. The BBC’s independence from political and commercial pressures is fundamental to its credibility. I am fully committed, as are the rest of the Board and the Director-General, to ensuring that this independence remains unassailable.”
Director-General Greg Dyke said: “Gavyn Davies has already made a strong impact on the BBC since becoming Vice-Chairman. His grasp of the challenges facing the BBC and his insight into how to respond to them, mean he is highly respected by Governors and senior management alike. He will continue to be a powerful champion of the public interest and of the BBC’s independence.”
However, the appointment of Mr Davies, who is considered to have Labour sympathies, has attracted criticism on the basis that the BBC’s political neutrality may now be under question. (CD)

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