Lord Tony Hall resignation 'not entirely unexpected as BBC finds itself in stormy waters'

The announcement that Lord Tony Hall is to leave his job as Director General of the BBC this year is not entirely unexpected.

But it comes as the world’s biggest broadcaster finds itself in stormy waters.

Equal pay, diversity, political bias, the licence fee - all have placed the organisation under a critical spotlight.

It has been revealed on Monday that radio broadcaster Sarah Montague won a £400,000 settlement and an apology over her pay.

This follows Samira Ahmed’s win at an employment tribunal and it is believed there are many more cases awaiting decisions which could cost the corporation millions.

  • Nina Nannar says Lord Hall's departure "would seem to be all about the future of the licence fee"

The row over the removal of free TV licences for most over 75s was a bruising episode for the department DG but coming up is the biggest battle of all - the negotiations over the future of the licence fee, with a figure due to be settled in 2022 taking the corporation up to 2027, the year in which the BBC’s Royal Charter is due to be renewed.

Lord Hall’s decision to leave is based around the need he says, to have the same leader taking the Corporation through both milestones.

Sarah Montague and Samira Ahmed have both won cases against the BBC over equal pay. Credit: PA

Whoever his successor is, they will need to have nerves of steel to negotiate with an at times hostile government, a media landscape in which competitors are backing a subscription model not a licence fee for the organisation - an environment in which the very existence of the BBC in its current form, is by no means assured.

It’s the biggest job in broadcasting but perhaps, right now, the most daunting.