Key BBC Trust job for civil servant who headed up review into charter

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A civil servant who led the last review of the BBC’s charter has been given a leading role on the BBC Trust – with a salary almost £60,000 lower than his predecessor.

Jon Zeff, a senior figure at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), will become director of the BBC Trust, replacing Nicholas Kroll who retires at the end of June.

He is to receive an annual salary of £180,000 – a reduction of almost a quarter on the figure which had previously been paid for the role.

Mr Zeff is currently a director at the DCMS and has worked for the department since 1998. He has previously held the post of head of broadcasting policy, leading the BBC’s charter review and overseeing the digital switchover.

He has also led the department’s work on broadband and telecommunications issues.

Mr Kroll announced earlier this year that he was to leave his £238,000 role at the age of 60. Last year, after appearing before the Public Accounts Committee, he received criticism in the fallout over the high level of pay-offs for senior figures exiting the BBC.

The BBC Trust said Mr Zeff was appointed following an open recruitment process for the post which involves acting as principal adviser to chairman Lord Patten and the trustees.

Lord Patten said: “Jon is a highly experienced public servant who understands the values of public service broadcasting and the policy issues surrounding broadcasting as a whole in the years ahead.”

Mr Zeff said: “The BBC is a hugely important institution in which we all have a stake. I relish the opportunity to help ensure that it serves audiences as well as it possibly can at a time of so much change and opportunity.”