"Step Aside?" -- Bbc Execs Say They're Not Stepping Anywhere
Turmoil at the BBC accelerated today (Tuesday) as two executives who reportedly had stepped aside while an investigation was undertaken into the scandals involving the public broadcaster's flagship news magazine Newsnight denied that they had done any such thing. On Monday, the BBC said that News Director Helen Boaden had decided that she is not in a position to undertake her position while her role in the scandals (if any) was being reviewed. It said that her deputy, Stephen Mitchell, had also decided to step aside. But late on Monday, Robert Peston, the BBC's business editor, disclosed on his blog that lawyers acting for Ms Boaden and Mr. Mitchell have informed [acting BBC director general Tim] Davie that they are quite capable of running BBC News, even with the uncertainty created by the [investigation]. Reports appearing in the British press have indicated that Boaden believes that she is being set up to be The Fall-guy in the scandals -- one involving the decision not to go ahead with a Newsnight report that one of the BBC's most famous hosts, the late Jimmy Savile, was a serial child molester, and the seemingly contrasting decision to air an erroneous report accusing a respected British lawmaker of being a pedophile. Today's London Daily Mail reported that Boaden has hired lawyers, may quit the BBC, and is likely to demand a huge compensation payment. Her current job pays her $562,000 per year.