BBC Scotland looks for new controller

Head of news and current affairs Blair Jenkins is the firm favourite to succeed John McCormick, who last week announced his retirement as controller of BBC Scotland, writes Hamish Mackay.

The other two main names in the frame are also BBC Scotland staff – head of programmes Ken MacQuarrie and Colin Cameron, head of network development for nations and regions.

Jenkins began his career as a reporter with the Aberdeen Evening Express, and has also been controller of news and current affairs, head of regional programmes and director of broadcasting at Scottish Television.

MacQuarrie joined the BBC as a researcher and his early career was as a radio and TV producer. Cameron began his career as a BBC television journalist in Glasgow, and has an excellent track record in programmemaking.

McCormick, who will step down in April, has been controller since 1992.

He joined the BBC in 1970 and moved to London in 1987 as secretary of the BBC, before returning to Scotland as controller.

His successor will have two major issues to handle – the planned £50m-plus move to a new digital HQ at Pacific Quay, Glasgow, in mid-2007, and redefining the service for the new BBC Charter in 2006.

McCormick has been embroiled in the controversy over the withholding of the “Holyrood Tapes” – gathered during the making of a documentary on the building of the new Scottish Parliament – from the Fraser Inquiry into why costs soared from £30m to more than £400m in three years.

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