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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 June, 2004, 14:54 GMT 15:54 UK
Profile: Ron Neil
Ron Neil
Ron Neil retired as head of BBC Production in 1998
A report by former BBC executive Ron Neil has recommended broad reforms of the corporation's journalism and values in the wake of the Hutton inquiry.

The former BBC Director of News and Current Affairs led a panel of broadcasting experts for the review.

He retired from BBC Production in 1998 after a long career at the corporation.

He is also a former boss and mentor of Mark Byford, who led the BBC as acting director general following Greg Dyke's resignation over the Hutton report.

Presenting his report, Mr Neil said: "In carrying out our work over the past three months, the review group recognises the formidable professionalism that already underwrites the BBC's journalism every day.

'Stance of strength'

"However, setting out to improve, strengthen and learn from the experience of life's events when they go wrong is a proper ambition.

"It is a stance of strength, not a weakness.

"I and the rest of the review team are very grateful for the considerable openness of BBC journalists and programme-makers in assisting us in our task."

Mr Neil, 62, originally from Glasgow, has a long history of involvement at the forefront of BBC news.

Appointed Breakfast Time editor in 1983, he led the launch of Britain's first breakfast news programme.

The programme - which Mr Neil said at the time was intended to be relaxed and informal - went head-to-head with TV-am's Good Morning Britain, which launched two weeks later.

A former newspaper and television reporter, he also worked as an editor for high-profile programmes including Nationwide, That's Life and Newsnight.

After Breakfast Time, Mr Neil became director of regional broadcasting, in charge of output from the nations and regions for the BBC.

He went on to lead BBC Production, handing over to Matthew Bannister on his retirement in 1998.

His successor praised Mr Neil's work in establishing the department as "a thriving and creative force".


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