As BBC Radio Kent says farewell to its managing editor, Robert Wallace, Paul Leaper arrives from BBC Radio London to take the helm.
Wallace, who has been running the Kent station for the past two years, is to be managing editor for Radio Devon where he began his BBC career 16 years ago. “I’m looking forward to returning to the Southwest where I started out as a broadcast assistant,” said Wallace. “I was chuffed to bits when I came to Kent and so I have mixed emotions about leaving.”
Both BBC Radio Kent and BBC Radio Devon have recently recorded audience increases – with the latter reaching record figures. The latest figures from Rajar show that Radio Devon has attracted 9,000 more listeners in the past year, bringing its total to 909,000 while Radio Kent added 32,000 listen- ers in the same period, boosting its total to 1.266m.
“I’m leaving a successful Radio Kent and am going to another successful station,” Wallace added. “I am hoping to work with the team in Devon to maintain those record figures and to manage the changes as Plymouth goes digital.”
Leaper is currently the assistant editor at BBC London, where he has worked for the past four years. He, like Wallace, is returning to his roots – one of his first radio experiences was answering phones at BBC Radio Medway.
He has also produced radio shows with Sir David Frost, as well as ones for BBC Radio 2 and Radio 3.
Leaper said that he is looking forward to moving to Kent, where he has plans to establish partnerships with public bodies as a way of strengthening links between the station and the community.
He said: “I am aiming to build on the BBC initiative of nurturing public value. The public need to identify with the point of the BBC. I want to work more with events going on in Kent, getting out and about and meeting people.”