Tim Davie, the incoming chief executive of BBC Worldwide, is acting as a de-facto director general on the subject of Jimmy Savile and the axed Newsnight Investigation.
Davie, who starts at BBCW on 1 December after a four-year stint as director of audio and music, is also now the BBC’s acting editor-in-chief on decisions regarding the Savile scandal under a temporary management structure set up over the last few days to deal separately with the issue.
The so-called “recused” structure will be kept in place until the Pollard inquiry into the affair finishes, probably by the end of November.
Under the new structure, the role of deputy director of news Steven Mitchell, who was the line manager for Newsnight editor Peter Rippon, has been taken on by BBC head of newsgathering Fran Unsworth for Savile-related issues.
Mitchell reported to director of news Helen Boaden under the normal structure but on the subject of Savile, Boaden’s responsibilities are being taken by Peter Horrocks, the director of the BBC World Service.
Boaden reports directly to director general George Entwistle, whose role in the Savile situation is now being undertaken by Davie.
The new structure means that Horrocks is now overseeing the broadcast of the BBC1 Panorama investigation into the decision of rival show Newsnight to drop an investigation into Savile.
However BBC sources have confirmed that it was Entwistle’s decision to temporarily remove Newsnight editor Peter Rippon from his post until the Pollard investigation is complete and to publish the corrections to his blog post.
The final decision is understood to have been made early this morning after Panorama investigators wrote to Entwistle with queries about the blog. “A picture of uncertainty emerged,” said a BBC source.