New York Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson is starting his job on Monday amid a widening scandal at his former employer, the BBC.
When the Times hired him in August, Thompson was hailed as someone who could help the company generate new revenue at a time when print publications are suffering from the loss of readers and advertisers. Thompson had spent eight years as director-general of the British Broadcasting Corp., a publicly funded television network that boasts a weekly global audience of 166 million people over multiple platforms, including radio, digital satellite and cable channels.
In recent months, Thompson has faced questions over a decision by the BBC’s “Newsnight” program last December to shelve an investigation into child sexual-abuse allegations against renowned BBC children’s television host Jimmy Savile. That decision was made while Thompson was still in charge of the company. Thompson has said he became aware of the investigative report long after it had been cancelled. When he inquired about its cancellation, he said he was told it had been terminated for journalistic reasons.