After running an "extensive recruitment search", the BBC has decided that BBC Knowledge commissioning controller Entwistle is the person to lead creative arm BBC Vision.
He has acted as interim director of Vision since Bennett's departure in January, but will now take on the post permanently with immediate effect. He will also take a seat on the BBC's Executive Board.
In the role, Entwistle will oversee the BBC's TV channels - BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC One HD and BBC HD - along with BBC Films. He will also be responsible for Vision Productions and have editorial oversight for UKTV, which is 50% owned by BBC Worldwide.
Entwistle said that he was "genuinely honoured" to be chosen to lead BBC Vision, overseeing a TV portfolio that has "enormous importance to the creative and cultural life of the UK".
"At the heart of its success, BBC Vision Productions is responsible for some of the best television programmes we broadcast," he said.
"I feel enormously proud to be leading these teams and I will do my utmost to build on the legacy of talent and excellence left by my predecessor, Jana Bennett."
BBC director general Mark Thompson added: "I am delighted to be able to confirm George as the BBC's new Director, Vision. The breadth of his experience across journalism, the arts and factual programmes, combined with his rock-solid editorial judgement and deep understanding of the BBC's values, equip him brilliantly for this formidable task.
"I am looking forward to working closely with him to ensure the BBC's television portfolio remains the envy of the broadcasting world."
Bennett officially joined BBC Worldwide in February in a role overseeing the BBC's international channel portfolio and the forthcoming global version of BBC iPlayer.