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BBC must deliver world-class creativity, says new D-G

In his first address to staff, new BBC Director-General George Entwistle said he would put outstanding, world-class creativity at the heart of the BBC.

Unveiling his plans to staff a day after taking over as Director-General, he asked everyone in the BBC to challenge themselves to deliver more creative and distinctive output for licence fee payers.

And he announced a series of management changes to turn the BBC into “a more creative organisation, led and managed in a radically simplified way”.

“I intend to change the way we’re led to put the emphasis where it belongs – on creative people doing creative things; on our audiences and the exceptional quality of work they deserve,” he told staff across the BBC.

Citing the London 2012 Olympics as an example of how good the BBC can be when everyone pulls together to deliver outstanding coverage, he asked staff to use this as a template for all their work.

He also challenged the BBC to meet the audience’s ever-increasing expectations.

“Though our best is often brilliant – in some of our output, we do settle for less than we should. So I believe we owe our audiences a determined effort to raise the creative quality of what we do.”

Speaking to staff in the studio and on the BBC’s internal video channel, he said: “I want to make a promise – to listen to you and to work tirelessly on fixing the things that get in the way of high creative quality, making the BBC a place where you really can do your best, and deliver the best of British creativity to our audiences.”

Announcing plans to reduce the management board from 25 to just 12, Entwistle also announced the closure of the Operations division.

Entwistle said his focus on creativity could not be in isolation of the BBC’s financial challenges, but savings could not just be imposed from the centre. Instead, front-line content makers also needed to be responsible for cost savings – incentivised by allowing them to reinvest some of the savings in better funded output.