A spokesman for Mr Thompson, who is to become chief executive of the New York Times, said he had not been told about the abuse allegations when they were made in May and September. A newspaper journalist is reported to have contacted the head of Mr Thompson’s office about Savile in May, but was told to speak to the BBC press office.
His office chief said she did not inform Mr Thompson about the allegations, which are also said to have been tabled in a freedom of information request rejected several months earlier.
A spokesman for Mr Thompson said he “was not aware of the conversation”.
He added that Mr Thompson “was on holiday at the time and this brief conversation was not relayed to him”.
It was also reported that Mr Thompson’s office was again contacted about Savile in September. This time, it came in an e-mail from ITV, which was separately investigating the entertainer, sent to both the BBC editorial policy department and Mr Thompson’s office.
A BBC spokesman confirmed the e-mail had been received. He added: “We cannot say definitively it did not go anywhere else.”
Mr Thompson’s spokesman said: “Mark does not recall being briefed and took no part in the response to the e-mail. This response was handled by colleagues in BBC Journalism.”
The office of Mark Thompson, the former Director-General of the BBC, was formally alerted at least twice this year to claims that the TV presenter Jimmy Savile had abused children