The BBC has confirmed appointing the former ‘Times’ editor, James Harding, as the director of its news and current affairs. He is expected to get a salary of £340,000 annually.
On Tuesday, the news corporation announced that Helen Boaden would be replaced by Harding while the former would be transferred to the position of director of radio this week. The former ‘Times’ editor was supposed to visit the broadcasting house of his new company later on Tuesday. He will start working in his new position from August.
Until the joining of Harding, the head of newsgathering in the BBC, Fran Unsworth, will perform the role of interim news director.
About his new post, Harding released a statement saying that he felt honored to be a part of the BBC newsroom that is treated to be the best in the world.
According to a ‘Guardian’ report in February, Tony Hill, the new director general of the BBC, had been discussing with Harding about this move for quite some time. Hill expressed his happiness over the appointment of Harding as the new news director of the news agency.
Hill also praised Harding’s track record as a journalist, manager, and editor. He also hoped that the new news director would give the agency a renewed sense of purpose.
After working five years as the editor of ‘Times’, Harding resigned unexpectedly in December last year. He told the surprised staff that he did so after knowing that Rupert Murdoch had planned to replace him.
He took a long holiday after that resignation. However, it is believed that he has been approached for a number of politics and media jobs during this period.
Harding will have to take the responsibility of a news division that has not yet recovered from the Jimmy Savile scandal revealed last autumn and the ongoing controversy over the Panorama documentary of John Sweeney on North Korea.