Friday, May 14, 1999 Published at 22:34 GMT 23:34 UK
Tony Hall: Current Head of BBC News
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One of the most experienced internal candidates, Tony Hall has run the BBC's news division for six years.
He started as a BBC trainee and worked for most BBC News programmes on television and radio before becoming editor of television news and current affairs in 1987.
Since then, Mr Hall has weathered a number of storms over the BBC's political coverage. He therefore knows from first-hand experience how difficult the relationship can be between the corporation and the government.
He has presided over the launch of two successful new services, Radio 5 Live and BBC News 24, as well as BBC News Online.
He now runs what is claimed to be the biggest news organisation in the world.
But he lacks experience outside news. And critics may be quick to point to the problems he has recently faced with the introduction of new technology.
They may also highlight the controversial move of radio journalists from Broadcasting House in central London to join television colleagues in a purpose-built newsroom at Television Centre in West London.