BBC fills new controlling Trust with eight appointments

LONDON - The BBC has announced the appointment of eight members to the newly formed BBC Trust, including David Liddiment, the former director of programmes at ITV, and Patricia Hodgson, the former chief executive of the Independent Television Commission.

The members are: vice-chairman Chitra Bharucha, a former consultant haematologist and chair of the General Medical Council; Diane Coyle, an economist, member of the Competition Commission and former economics editor of The Independent; Alison Hastings, the Trustee for England, and former regional newspaper editor; Rotha Johnston, an independent businesswoman and the trustee for Northern Ireland; Janet Lewis-Jones, the Trustee for Wales; Mehmuda Mian Pritchard, a solicitor and Independent Police Complaints commissioner; along with Liddiment and Hodgson. 

They will sit on the 12-member trust with current members: BBC chairman Michael Grade; property magnate Dermot Gleeson; former news editor Richard Tait; and economist Jeremy Peat.

Five board members will individually be paid £35,000 for a commitment of two days a week, while the three national trustees will each be paid £40,000. 

The creation of the trust, which replaces the BBC board of governors on January 1 2007, was outlined in the government's BBC Charter white paper in March. Members of the trust will be tasked with curbing the publicly funded broadcaster from unfairly competing against its commercial rivals.

The BBC said that the trust has "an explicit duty to represent the interests of licence fee payers and will consult them prior to taking significant decisions on the public's behalf".

Grade said: "The new BBC Trust has a very different role from that of the Board of Governors it replaces.
 
"The new Charter requires that the trust is independent of BBC management, representing the interests of licence fee payers. We must consult the public to ensure our decisions are properly informed by those who pay for the BBC.
 
"The trust will recognise that every licence fee payer also has an interest in the wider choice offered across the industry."

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