LONDON, UK (CBS) - Britain's BBC has been knocked off its feet by another serious error, a news report accusing an innocent person of child abuse. This morning, its two top news executives have stepped aside.
The apparent cover up of one child sex abuse story and the shoddy, inaccurate reporting of another has landed the BBC in its worst credibility crisis in years.
The BBC's top executive George Entwistle was among the first to go, jumping before he was pushed. But even that caused outrage, when he walked with a full year's salary of more than $700,000 despite being on the job for less than two months.
It was a rare moment when British politicians were united in sound and fury. On his first day at his new job as CEO of the New York Times, the former BBC director general said he has faith the corporation will recover.
Mark Thompson, CEO of New York Times Co. says, "Like many people I'm very saddened by recent events at the BBC but I believe the BBC is the world's greatest broadcaster and I've got no doubt that it will once again regain the public's trust both in the UK and around the world."
The person appointed as acting BBC chief, Mark Davie, is a marketing man with no journalism experience. He says, "This is about establishing a clear line of responsibility in our journalism and deliver the output that we trust and I think I am in a very good position to do that."
He'll need to restore that trust in the BBC. First came the decision to kill a story on flamboyant 70's children's star Jimmy Savile who was exposed as a serial child molester who even preyed on children at mental institutions.
Things got even worse when the BBC's flagship program 'Newsnight' aired a story wrongly implicating a former politician of sexual abuse at a children's home.
Media analyst Claire Enders says, "There is quite a shock around the BBC being such an eminent news organization and with such a history which unimpeachable reporting and journalism being confronted with not just one failure but two failures in journalism of quite a profound nature."