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Monday, 4 June, 2001, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
BBC to advertise chairman post
Television Centre
The Board of Governors are the public's BBC watchdog
The BBC is to place newspaper advertisements for the position of BBC chairman for the first time.

Outgoing BBC chairman Sir Christopher Bland has stepped down from the corporation to take up a role with British Telecom.

Appointments to the BBC Board of Governors are conducted according to Nolan Guidelines on Standards in Public Life, which means a public call for candidates must be made.

Sir Christopher Bland
Bland has stayed on at the BBC until a successor is found
Though other governors have been appointed following this proceedure, this is the first time a chairman appointment is to be made since the guidelines were introduced.

The idea is to broaden the shortlist of candidates from which the eventual successor is chosen, but the final choice will still be a matter for the government of the day.

The government advises the Queen who makes the formal appointment.

Sir Christopher was appointed in 1996 by the Queen on the advice of then Conservative Prime Minster John Major, but applicants were not invited publicly for that post.

Monitoring

It is the job of the BBC's 12-member board of governors to monitor the BBC's activities on behalf of the public.

The governors are appoint the BBC's director general and other senior management, but they do not get involved in the day to day running of the corporation.

Greg Dyke
Director General Greg Dyke's post was advertised
Their job is to ensure that the BBC is accountable to parliament, license-fee payers and audiences - in particular they must ensure the BBC offers value for money.

They oversee the corporation's editorial independence and also have the power to investigate viewer or listener complaints.

Speculation

Speculation abounds as to the possible successor.

Vice-chairman Gavyn Davies is often named as a possible successor.

When he was appointed vice-chairman in January 2001 there were accusations of cronyism because of his friendship with chancellor Gordon Brown.

But he was also well regarded by John Major's Conservative government, and his brother-in-law Rick Nye is a speech writer for William Hague.

A number of other candidates are also being tipped including former leaders of the five regulatory bodies are due to be merged to form the new super watchdog Ofcom -the Independent Television Commission, Oftel, Broadcasting Standards Commission, Radio Authority and Radiocommunications Agency.

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See also:

26 Apr 01 | Business
Bland's road to BT
26 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
The BBC's watchdogs
26 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Gavyn Davies: The socialist millionaire
11 Jan 01 | Entertainment
BBC's Hall takes top opera job
13 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Salmon leaps into BBC Sport
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