12 Jan 2013

BBC advertises for Newsnight editor post-Savile

The BBC launches a search for a new editor of Newsnight after the programme dropped a report into Jimmy Savile’s decades-long campaign of sexual abuse.

Newsnight editor Peter Rippon stood aside in October 2012 (pic: Getty)

Peter Rippon, who took over at Newsnight in 2008, stood aside when his explanation in a blog about why the investigation was pulled was criticised for inaccuracies and had to be corrected.

The job advert for his replacement, published on the BBC’s website, reads: “After a period of intense external and internal scrutiny and challenge Newsnight is looking for a tough, innovative and creative individual with sound editorial judgment to be the next editor.”

Applicants should have “experience of successfully managing teams through periods of difficult change” and ensuring the programme collaborates with the rest of BBC News and BBC Two.

A BBC spokeswoman said Mr Rippon, who stood aside in October, is ‘back in the office preparing for his new role’ at the BBC, although she could not reveal the role or when it will be officially announced.

“Making tough decisions at very short notice is an important part of the job and the programme must never shy away from the controversial and the sensitive,” the ad says.

Whoever secures the job will be accountable to the head of news programmes, a position also being advertised by the corporation.

News of the search comes a day after a report said Jimmy Savile sexually abused and raped girls as young as eight over a 54-year period, including an assault at the last filming of Top of the Pops in 2006.

The joint report, compiled by Scotland Yard, which is leading the Operation Yewtree investigation into abuse by the DJ and others, and the NSPCC, details the allegations against Savile between the earliest reported incident in 1955 and the last in 2009.


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