BBC looks for new head of news as Helen Boaden becomes director of radio

The BBC is recruiting a new director of news after moving Helen Boaden to the job of director, BBC Radio.

Boaden was sidelined from her job in November pending the outcome of the Pollard review into BBC coverage of Jimmy Savile child abuse allegations. Her deputy Stephen Mitchell resigned in December.

Incoming BBC director general Tony Hall announced Boaden’s job move today and also revealed that former Labour Secretary of State for Culture James Purnell has been recruited director, strategy and digital.

Hall said: “I am building a senior team that will define the BBC and public service broadcasting for the next decade. It will be a team that is made up of outstanding talent from outside the BBC combined with the best people from within.

“There will be more changes over the coming months and there is a lot of hard work ahead but today’s appointments are the first steps in delivering that vision.”

Purnell is currently a senior producer at Rare Day and adviser to the Boston Consulting Group. His new remit will include running the Strategy, Digital, Communications, Policy, Public Affairs, Marketing and Audiences divisions.

Purnell said: “I'm really excited to be coming back to the BBC, to work on its future with such a great team. Over the last couple of years, producing and developing programmes has rekindled my passion for the career I had before politics. I feel very lucky to have the chance to return to the BBC at such an important time.”

Acting director-general Tim Davie is to move back to BBC Worldwide as chief executive and will also be director, global, responsible for developing the BBC’s international brand and editorial strategy.

Tim Davie added: "I am very pleased to take on the important task of building the BBC brand

Boaden said: “It is a huge pleasure to be returning to my first love of radio. I look forward to working with our outstanding Controllers and some of the most creative on and off air talent in the BBC. The British public love BBC Radio and I intend to cherish and champion it.”

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