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Acting head of vision rallies staff

Acting head of vision Roger Mosey has rallied BBC Vision staff and defended public service broadcasting, saying the weekend’s developments “have been awful to watch” in an email.

Mosey, who oversaw 2012 Olympics, was appointed as acting vision director when George Entwistle took up the director general job in the summer.

In the emotional email he paid tribute to Entwistle and said: “This weekend’s events have been awful to watch. Emotions are too raw to go into analysis and conclusions now. But I know George would agree with me when I say that the most important thing is to start planning how we get out of this crisis, and to focus above all on winning back the trust of our audiences.

“That’s the best way we can recognise George’s contribution to the BBC over more than 20 years – and confound the minority who want to use this to damage the whole concept of public service broadcasting. We must never lose faith.”

Mosey first met Entwistle when he was head of television news in 2000 and in 2001 he appointed him as editor of Newsnight.

He added: “I was delighted when George became director general. We know his intelligence, his decency – and his humour. There was the all-too-brief period in which he set out his goals for the organisation as its leader, and it felt like a promising new dawn.

“So it’s been with the most enormous sadness that we’ve seen the tidal wave of revelations about Jimmy Savile sweep across the organisation, and then the failures in some of our reporting that cost George his job.”

Looking at the rest of the BBC’s output this weekend, he pointed to coverage of Remembrance Weekend. He said he was “enormously proud of the professionalism of our broadcasting” and re-iterated the importance of remaining focused on delivering Children in Need later this week.

ROGER MOSEY’S EMAIL TO STAFF

Dear All,

I first met George Entwistle when I became head of television news in 2000 and he was a bright up-and-coming ouput editor who’d worked in Science as well as News. I liked him immediately. I rapidly came to respect his professional skills too, and in 2001 I appointed him as editor of Newsnight – a role in which he excelled. And I then saw him do equally well in Arts, Knowledge, BBC4 and the top job in Vision.

Like most of the rest of us in this division, I was delighted when George became director general. We know his intelligence, his decency – and his humour. There was the all-too-brief period in which he set out his goals for the organisation as its leader, and it felt like a promising new dawn. So it’s been with the most enormous sadness that we’ve seen the tidal wave of revelations about Jimmy Savile sweep across the organisation, and then the failures in some of our reporting that cost George his job.

This weekend’s events have been awful to watch. Emotions are too raw to go into analysis and conclusions now. But I know George would agree with me when I say that the most important thing is to start planning how we get out of this crisis, and to focus above all on winning back the trust of our audiences. That’s the best way we can recognise George’s contribution to the BBC over more than 20 years – and confound the minority who want to use this to damage the whole concept of public service broadcasting. We must never lose faith.

I write this after a weekend which, as Andrew Marr said yesterday morning, gave a sense of perspective about the daily headlines because we were remembering the sacrifice of those who lost their lives fighting for our freedom. Remembrance Weekend is about life and death, and our national identity; and it’s right that the BBC is at the heart of the coverage that brings the UK together to mark the courage of the men and women who died in the wars of the last century. I was enormously proud of the professionalism of our broadcasting from the Cenotaph and the Royal Albert Hall, and its high standards are what we should always aspire to.

Also vital this week will be delivering a wonderful Children In Need – another way in which we seek to unite the nation while also helping children and young people who are disadvantaged. I’ve taken part in Children In Need myself since I worked in BBC Local Radio, and I know it brings staff together as well as our audiences. That’s a good thing in these troubled times, so let’s try to make this year the best ever – and once again show how we as individuals and as an organisation can make lives better.

Regards as ever,

Roger

 

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