Monday, November 8 2010, 10:49 GMT
By Andrew Laughlin,
BBC director general Mark Thompson has reportedly apologised to the BBC Trust over his decision to sign a protest letter against News Corp's proposed takeover of Sky.
Last month, the Trust quizzed Thompson on how "appropriate" it was for him to join a group of media companies in signing the letter submitted to business secretary Vince Cable objecting to the deal.
According to The Guardian, the Trust has released part of the minutes from its meeting on October 21, in which Thompson "acknowledged that he had not discussed the co-signing of the letter directly with the chairman [Sir Michael Lyons] or engaged with trustees".
The minutes also reveal that Thompson "stated his regret" for getting involved in the row about News Corp's bid to acquire the 61% of Sky that it does not already own.
However, the Trust also gave no indication that it was unhappy with the contents of the letter, simply stating that there would be "no further comment" on the situation.
Thompson faced criticism for getting personally involved in the Sky takeover protest, including an objection from Stephen Mitchell, the BBC's deputy director of news.
However, the controversy is now rather academic as Cable has intervened in News Corp's £7.8 billion takeover of Sky in response to concerns about its impact on media plurality in the UK.
Cable has ordered Ofcom to investigate the deal on grounds of public interest as the enlarged company would include four major national newspapers and a pay-TV company boasting profits of more than £1bn.
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