BBC backs Dyke in Granada-stake

Stock ownership could create conflict of interest

LONDON — Greg Dyke, who becomes director general of the BBC at the end of this month, has come under fire for not having disposed of almost $10 million in shares in Granada Group, one of the “big three” ITV network companies.

The BBC, however, dismissed reports that it had been unaware of Dyke’s Granada shares. The pubcaster said it had given Dyke until April to sell the stake so he could avoid paying excessive tax on the profit.

The Sunday Times — which is owned by Rupert Murdoch and which campaigned against Dyke’s appointment last fall — has criticized the former chief exec of Pearson Television for being in a conflict of interest.

Dyke, who sold his Pearson shares last August, has indicated he will not be pressured into selling early.

His stake in Granada stems from Granada’s 1994 takeover of London Weekend Television, where Dyke was chief exec.

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