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Monday, November 1, 1999 Published at 18:22 GMT


Dyke launches BBC review

Greg Dyke: Five months as D-G designate

Greg Dyke, the next director-general of the BBC, is to review the role of BBC Broadcast in the light of the rise of digital television.

Mr Dyke joined the BBC on Monday as director-general designate and deputy director-general.

"I'm very much in listening mode," said Mr Dyke. "The handover period which I agreed with John and the governors is designed to help me get my feet under the table and get to know the organisation first."

His first act was to announce a review of BBC Broadcast, the arm responsible for commissioning, scheduling and delivering all BBC services for UK licence-payers.

New structure

As part of the review Mr Dyke has decided not to replace the current BBC Broadcast chief executive Will Wyatt - retiring on 31 December - until February at the earliest.

"Taking the BBC into the digital age is as big a strategic challenge as the BBC has faced. This review is therefore timely," said a statement from Sir John Birt, who Mr Dyke will work alongside until April 2000.

Mr Dyke will be the senior figure at the BBC when Sir John is absent, and will take over the post, with a salary thought to be in the region of £400,000, when Sir John leaves at the beginning of April 2000.

Over the next few months he will visit BBC offices around the UK to find out more about the BBC's vast range of services and his own role.

Roland Rat

Mr Dyke was chosen for the post in June after a long running selection process. His appointment upset the Conservative Party because of his past donations to Labour.

Until this August he was head of Pearson TV, but has been a senior figure in the broadcasting world for two decades.

He turned around ailing TV-am in 1983 as editor-in-chief, boosting audience figures from 250,000 to 1.5 million, partly as a result of introducing the puppet character Roland Rat.

A three-year spell as director of programmes at TVS was followed by the same role at London Weekend Television, where he started his TV career as a researcher.

He went on to become group chief executive of LWT in the mid-90s, before taking over as head of Pearson.

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