BBC executive George Entwistle has been appointed Director-General of the BBC, often seen as the most powerful job in UK broadcasting.
He will take over from Mark Thompson on a salary of £450,000 in the autumn.
Speculation had been mounting that a decision would be reached swiftly after a final round of interviews yesterday, conducted by Lord Patten, the chairman of the BBC Trust.
Entwistle had been director of BBC Vision since last year.
Lord Patten said: “George is a creative leader for a creative organisation.
“His experience of making and delivering great programmes that audiences love – built up through many years of working for the Corporation – will prove invaluable as he and his team work to ensure the BBC remains the greatest broadcaster in the world.”
The pay for the role has been hugely reduced by more than £200,000. Mr Thompson – who has held the role since 2004 – is currently paid £671,000, giving an indication of the general belt-tightening for BBC executives.
Among those interviewed for the role are understood to be Ed Richards, the chief executive of Ofcom who was seen as a frontrunner, and the BBC’s chief operating officer, Caroline Thomson.
Mr Thompson indicated in March that he was stepping down following the Olympics. Headhunting firm Egon Zehnder led the process to find his successor.
Mr Entwistle’s chances were at one stage thought to have diminished in the wake of the much-criticised BBC coverage of the Diamond Jubilee pageant, which came under his responsibility.
He said today: “I’m delighted that the chairman and trustees have decided I’m the right person for the job, and I’m very excited about all that lies ahead.
“I love the BBC and it’s a privilege to be asked to lead it into the next stage of its creative life.”