Thompson starts as NYT CEO amid BBC scandal

New York Times Co CEO Mark Thompson started his job on Monday amid a widening scandal at his former employer, the BBC.

When the Times hired him in August, Thompson was hailed as someone who could help the company at a time when print publications are suffering from the loss of readers and advertisers.

Thompson, 55, left the British Broadcasting Corp (BBC) in September after more than three decades with the public broadcaster.

In recent months, Thompson has faced questions over a decision by the BBC's 'Newsnight' programme last December to shelve an investigation into child sexual-abuse allegations against renowned BBC children's television host Jimmy Savile.

In the latest twist, Thompson's successor as the BBC's top executive, George Entwistle, resigned on Saturday after a November 2 'Newsnight' report wrongly implied that a former British politician sexually abused a child.

After the Savile scandal broke, Times chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr sent the company's staff a letter that said he was satisfied Thompson had no role in the decision to scrap the investigative segment on Savile.

The Times did not make Thompson available for interviews on Monday. A spokesman said he spent his first day on the job meeting with employees and learning the company.

In a memo to staff on Monday, Sulzberger welcomed Thompson and said his experience "will be of great value to our company". He did not mention the BBC scandal. "Mark will lead us as we continue our digital transformation, bolster our international growth, drive our productivity and introduce new technologies that will help us become better storytellers and enrich the experience for our readers and viewers,'' Sulzberger wrote. "That is what he did as Director-General of the BBC.''

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