BBC chief quits amid broadcaster's child sex abuse turmoil

LONDON Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:04pm EST

Former BBC director general George Entwistle speaks to the members of the media after appearing before a Culture and Media Committee hearing at Parliament in London October 23, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

Former BBC director general George Entwistle speaks to the members of the media after appearing before a Culture and Media Committee hearing at Parliament in London October 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Winning

LONDON (Reuters) - BBC Director General George Entwistle resigned on Saturday, just two months into the job, after failing to get to grips with a child sex abuse scandal that has thrown the 90-year-old state-funded broadcaster into turmoil.

Entwistle has faced widespread criticism since a rival broadcaster carried charges last month that a former BBC star, the late Jimmy Savile, was one of Britain's most prolific sex offenders.

Condemnation grew after the corporation made an embarrassing apology on Friday following an admission that the BBC's flagship news program aired a mistaken allegation that an ex-politician sexually abused children.

Speaking outside the BBC center in London, he said he had taken the decision "in the light of the unacceptable journalistic standards of the Newsnight film broadcast on Friday 2nd November" because he was editor-in-chief.

"I have decided that the honorable thing to do is to step down from the post of director general," he said.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Ralph Gowling and Stephen Powell)

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