Williams helps Times' Thompson with Savile issue

LONDON: Edelman UK's boss Ed Williams is handling former BBC director general and incoming New York Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson's personal PR as he comes under growing pressure over the Jimmy Savile scandal.

LONDON: Edelman UK's boss Ed Williams is handling former BBC director general and incoming New York Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson's personal PR as he comes under growing pressure over the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Williams, who left his role as BBC director of communications last year to become Edelman's UK CEO, has been advising Thompson as he prepares to join The New York Times Co. as president and chief executive.

Savile, a BBC entertainer for decades, is accused of sexually abusing underage girls over a period of years.

Thompson served as the BBC's director general from June 2004 to this September. He is set to take over as The New York Times Co.'s chief executive next month.

Thompson was director general of the BBC when the Newsnight investigation into Savile was scrapped, and he claimed last week he did not know Savile's behavior was a “pressing concern.”

Williams told PRWeek UK: “I have worked with [Thompson] for many years and consider him a man of the highest ethical standards and integrity. I am engaged in advising him on all aspects of the Jimmy Savile issue, including his involvement in the Pollard inquiry or any other inquiries that require [Thompson's] participation.”

He added: “[Thompson] has made it very clear that he had no involvement in the decision to abandon Newsnight's investigation into Savile, and the first he was made aware of the very serious allegations involving Savile was during ITV's pre-publicity ahead of its documentary.”

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