The BBC has fired the starting pistol on its search for a new director general, calling for applicants with “demonstrable resilience” as it tries to head off fierce political pressure.
The broadcaster today published a job advert for its top position after current director general Tony Hall announced plans to step down in the summer.
The BBC described the job as “one of the most high-profile public posts in the UK”, adding that the successful candidate had an “unmatchable opportunity to lead a multinational creative organisation at a time of significant change”.
The beleaguered corporation, which has hired headhunter Odgers Berndston to carry out the search, also called for a candidate with “demonstrable resilience”.
The government last week launched a public consultation into the decriminalisation of the licence fee amid a shift in viewing habits towards streaming services such as Netflix.
The BBC has hit back at the move, warning it would cost the organisation £200m and have a damaging knock-on effect on the UK’s creative sector.
It is also navigating a boycott of government ministers on Radio 4’s Today programme amid complaints the flagship political show is aimed at a “metropolitan elite”.
The BBC has since pledged to move two-thirds of its workforce outside London by 2027, while in its job ad the corporation said the new director general could be based in any of its main UK locations, such as Salford.
The new director general will take the reins as the public service broadcaster gears up for its mid-term Charter review in 2022 and a potential overhaul of its funding model.
The culture secretary last week said the licence fee would remain in place until 2027, but urged people to be “open minded” about its future beyond that date.
Read more: BBC licence fee to increase by £3 from April
A number of internal candidates have been tipped as likely positions for the post, including director of news and current affairs Fran Unsworth and director of content Charlotte Moore. External frontrunners include Channel 4 boss Alex Mahon and former Ofcom chief Sharon White.
Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of press baron Rupert Murdoch and former head of production company Shine, was also linked to the job in an i newspaper report this morning, which suggested she would be a popular choice for Downing Street.