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BBC Directors General

     
1 Jan 1927-1938 Sir John Reith Previously managing director of the British Broadcasting Company from 1922; knighted on appointment as DG; chairman of Imperial Airways 1938.
19 Jul 1938-26 Jan 1942 Frederick W Ogilvie (1893-1949) Previously vice-chancellor of Queen's University, Belfast from 1934; knighted Jun 1942; Principal of Jesus College, Oxford 1944-1949.
26 Jan 1942-6 Sep 1943 Sir Cecil Graves (1892-1957) and Robert W Foot (1889-1973) Graves was a BBC administrator 1926, Assistant Director of Programmes 1929, Director of the Empire Service Director 1932, Controller of Programmes 1935, Deputy Director-General 19381942.
Foot was previously a general manager at the Gas, Light and Coke Company, later chairman of the Mining Association.
26 Jan 1943-31 Mar 1944 Robert W Foot  
1944-Jun 1952 Sir William Haley (1901-1987) BBC editor-in-chief 1943; knighted 1946; editor of The Times 1952-1966; editor-in-chief Encyclopædia Britannica 1968-1969.
Jun 1952-1 Dec 1952 Sir Basil Nicholls (1899-1993) Acting DG (member of BBC Board of Management)
1 Dec 1952-31 Dec 1959 Sir Ian Jacob (1899-1993) After military service, for which he was knighted 9146, Controller of BBC European/Overseas Service 1946-1951.
1 Jan 1960-1 Apr 1969 (Sir) Hugh Carleton Greene (1910-1987) Former journalist; head of BBC German Service 1940, post-war reconstruction of German broadcasting; head of BBC East European Service; Director of Administration; Director of News and Current Affairs 1958.
1 Apr 1969-1 Oct 1977 (Sir) Charles Curran(1921-1980) BBC Monitoring Service 1951; BBC Secretary; Director of External Broadcasting; subsequently managing director of Visnews television news agency.
1 Oct 1977-31 Jul 1982 Sir Ian Trethowan (1922-1990) Journalist/newscaster at ITN, then BBC 1963; managing director BBC network radio 1970-1976; knighted 1980; subsequently chairman, Horserace Betting Levy Board and director Barclays Bank; chairman, Thames Television 1987-1990.
31 Jul 1982-Jan 1987 Alasdair Milne (1930-2013) BBC graduate trainee entrant 1954; current affairs producer; forced resignation as DG.
Jan 1987-1992 Sir Michael Checkland (1936-) BBC senior cost accountant 1969; head of Central Finance Unit; BBC Television chief accountant 1971, financial controller 1976, Controller of Planning and Resource Management 1977; 1982; Deputy DG 1985; chairman, BBC Enterprises 1986; subsequently (inter alia) chairman of University of Brighton, chairman of Brighton Festival 1993-2002.
1992-Jan 2000 Sir John Birt (1944-) Television producer, Granada Television, LWT; director of Programmes LWT 1982; BBC Deputy DG 1897; knighted 1998, life peerage 2000; subsequently prime-ministerial advisor, etc.
Jan 2000-29 Jan 2004 Greg Dyke (1947-) Television producer at LWT; Programme Director TVam 1983; Director of Programmes TVS; then at LWT and Pearson Television; chairman, Channel 5 1995.
29 Jan 2004-21 May 2004 Mark Byford (1958-) Acting DG (Deputy DG); BBC Regional News producer 1981; Controller Regional Broadcasting 1991; Director Regional Broadcasting 1996; Director BBC World Service 1998; head, BBC Global News Division 2002; Deputy DG Jan 2004
22 Jun 2004-17 Sep 2012 Mark Thompson (1957-) BBC production trainee 1981; Head of Features 1992; Head of Factual Programmes 1994; Controller BBC Two 1996; Director National and Regional Broadcasting 1999; Director of Television 2000; Chief Executive Channel Four Television 2002; subsequently CEO New York Times Company.
17 Sep 2012-10 Nov 2012 George Entwistle (1962-) BBC broadcast journalism trainee 1989; assistant producer 1990; various producer/editor appointments from 1993; Head, Television Current Affairs 2005; Controller of Knowledge Commissioning 2008; 2011 Director of BBC Vision.
11 Nov 2012-2 Apr 2013 Tim Davie (1967) Acting DG (BBC Director of Audio and Music 2008).
2 Apr 2013- Tony Hall, Baron Hall of Birkenhead (1951-) BBC trainee 1973; producer/editor; Director of News and Current Affairs 1990; Director opf News 1993; Head of Current Affairs 1996; chief executive Royal Opera House 2001; life peerage 2010.

Reference index

Page updated 4 April 2013
David Fisher