BBC creates news gatekeeper role

BBC News has created a position of head of communications at a time when editorial practice is being tightened up following publication of the Hutton Report.

Janie Ironside Wood, former chief press officer at ITN and currently director of communications at BBC Worldwide, will act as a gatekeeper for all marketing and communications for the BBC’s news operation.

Bosses say that the creation of the new role had nothing to do with the aftermath of Hutton’s damning report of the BBC, but follows a decision taken in January 2003 to reshape marketing and communications in the division.

Ironside Wood will be reporting to BBC head of communications Sally Osman with an operational line to director of news Richard Sambrook.

Osman said: “Janie has extensive experience of marketing and communications within broadcasting, particularly in news and current affairs. She is a substantial figure in the BBC and within the communications industry.”

Ironside Wood will take up her new post at the end of April.

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