BBC Trust adds 3 governors

LONDON -- The BBC Trust, the new body that will succeed the existing board of governors in overseeing the British pubcaster's operations, is taking shape with three governors named Wednesday to join BBC chairman Michael Grade as trustees. Eight new trustees who are still to be named will join businessman Dermott Gleeson, former newsman Richard Tait and economist Jeremy Peat on the Trust. Making the announcement, culture minister Tessa Jowell said that a mix of BBC governors and new trustees would give "the right balance of change and continuity." Grade issued a statement welcoming the appointments. "The three governors going forward to join the eight new trustees bring skills in property, finance and editorial issues that are currently being applied in key areas of the governors' business and are critical to the transition to and early operation of the trust," Grade said.

BBC governors reject 'Springer' complaints

BBC governors reject 'Springer' complaints
LONDON -- The BBC's board of governors announced Wednesday that it has rejected more than 63,000 complaints over the BBC's decision to air controversial stage show Jerry Springer the Opera. But the five-member complaints committee was unable to deliver a unanimous decision on the show, which aired Jan. 8. One governor said she "profoundly disagreed" with the majority view, BBC reps confirmed. The committee backed BBC director general Mark Thompson's decision to air the controversial work, citing its "outstanding artistic significance" as the justification for broadcast. The governors conceded the program -- in which Jesus is at one point depicted wearing a diaper -- had offended viewers. "In all the circumstances, the outstanding artistic significance of the program outweighed the offence which it caused to some viewers and so the broadcasting of the program was justified," complaints committee chairman Richard Tait said in a statement. "The BBC is committed to freedom of expression and has a duty to innovate, to reflect new and challenging ideas and to make available to its audiences work of outstanding artistic significance."

2 media vets receive seats on BBC board

LONDON -- BBC chairman Michael Grade announced Thursday two new appointments to the pubcaster's 12-member board of governors. The appointments -- made by the U.K. government -- include media lawyer Anthony Salz, who will take the post of vice chairman, and former ITV News editor in chief Richard Tait, who joins as a governor. Both will serve four-year terms. Aside from Grade, a former chief executive of Channel 4, the two new appointees are the only current BBC governors to have media-related backgrounds.

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