Sir Michael Lyons at the BBC: 2007-2010 - Press Gazette

Sir Michael Lyons at the BBC: 2007-2010

Sir Michael Lyons announced today that he intended to step down as chairman of the BBC Trust next year. He informed culture secretary Jeremy Hunt he had decided not to seek reappointment following conclusion of his single four-year term of office next May (you can read the full letter to Hunt here).

Press Gazette has put together a timeline charting Lyons’ times as chairman of the BBC.

  • April 2007 – Sir Michael Lyons appointed chairman of the BBC
  • April 2007 – The new chairman refutes ‘job cutter’ fears. Lyons said that BBC staff should not fear him as a job cutter
  • July 2007 – BBC Trust orders inquiry into top presenters’ pay. Lyons said: “there is no doubt there is public controversy over whether or not the BBC pays too much for top-performing talent”
  • October 2007 – The BBC Trust ‘unanimously approves’Thompson’s plans for the future, giving the green light to job losses expected to number around 1,800. Lyons said the plans, which could mean 600 job cuts in news and a further 600 in factual and learning were “definitely” in the best interests of the BBC
  • June 2008 – BBC Trust report says news coverage is failing the regions. Lyons said that affection for the BBC drops the further people live from London, partly because they do not see their lives reflected enough
  • October 2008 – Lyons opposes Ofcom’s idea and says BBC can’t be forced to give up Worldwide
  • October 2008 – Lyons says regional press ‘Lacks strength”. His comments came as the Trust carried out its investigation into plans by the BBC to provide local video on 65 websites – a proposal that has faced criticism from the regional newspaper industry
  • November 2008 – BBC Trust considers ‘tightening’ BBC Worldwide remit. The BBC Trust looks set to ‘tighten’ the remit of BBC Worldwide, the corporation’s commercial arm, following complaints that it has become too big
  • November 2008 – The BBC’s plans to launch a £68m web-based local video service have been turned down by the BBC Trust
  • January 2009 – A partnership between Channel 4 and BBC Worldwide is ‘very likely’, according to Lyons
  • February 2009 – BBC Trust have to defend 250% increase in Lyons’ expenses
  • May 2009 – Lyons attacks Tory plans to freeze the licence fee
  • September 2009 – Sir Michael Lyons: Public don’t want licence fee shared. The BBC Trust chairman pens an open letter in which he claims the greater part of the public is against the corporation sharing licence fee income with rivals
  • February 2010 – Tories to replace BBC Trust with ‘licence fee payers’ trust’. A Conservative government announces it would create a “licence fee payers’ trust” in place of the BBC Trust leading to the early departure of its chairman, Sir Michael Lyons
  • July 2010 – In a push for greater transparancy the BBC Trust chairman says stars’ salaries should be public. Lyons says the corporation needed to reveal its top-earning stars and make details of their pay public
  • September 2010 – Sir Michael announces he will leave step down as chairman in May



Press Gazette's must-read weekly newsletter featuring interviews, data, insight and investigations.