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Times Co. CEO Says Report Examining BBC Scandal Will Be Delayed

November 30, 2012

New York Times Co. (NYT:US) Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson, under scrutiny for the handling of a sex scandal when he ran the British Broadcasting Corp., said the results of a BBC inquiry into the matter have been delayed.

The report was expected to be submitted at the end of November, though now that won’t happen until “some weeks later,” Thompson said today in a memo to the Times staff.

The investigation has been a source of lingering uncertainty for Thompson, who took charge of the New York Times this month. He led the BBC when it canceled a segment by the “Newsnight” program investigating claims that Jimmy Savile, a popular BBC host, had sexually abused dozens of underage girls over a period of decades. Thompson has said that he wasn’t involved in the decision to scrap the program.

Nick Pollard, a former head of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc’s Sky News, is reviewing the decision to cancel the “Newsnight” segment as part of an internal probe by the BBC. Since those results of that inquiry are being closely watched, Thompson said today that he would push back a series of town- hall meetings until 2013.

“I know that there’s been considerable -- and quite understandable -- interest in this topic inside as well as outside the Times,” Thompson said in the memo. “I wanted to address questions about it at the town halls once the inquiry was out and all the facts were known.”

Thompson appeared before a closed-door internal inquiry at the BBC this month to testify on what he knew about the news report and why it was canceled.

To contact the reporter on this story: Edmund Lee in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nick Turner at

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