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Wednesday, Mar 04th

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NYT defends incoming chief amid BBC scandal

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Mark Thompsonhe New York Times stood by its incoming chief Wednesday, even as questions about a BBC child sex abuse scandal followed him from one of Britain's most respected news organizations to one of America's.

But as new CEO Mark Thompson was getting support from his new bosses, the Times ombudsman questioned his fitness for the job. And in Britain, a lawmaker said he had more questions for Thompson. As Thompson prepares to take over as president of The New York Times next month, he has been put on the defensive about his final days as head of the BBC and the broadcaster's decision to kill what would have been a bombshell investigative story alleging the late Jimmy Savile, one of its biggest stars, had sexually abused up to 200 children.

The BBC scandal has horrified Britain with revelations that Savile, a popular children's television presenter, cajoled and coerced vulnerable teens into having sex with him in his car, in his camper van, and even in dingy dressing rooms on BBC premises. He is also accused of sexually assaulting disabled children at hospitals that he helped by raising charity funds.

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