The controller of BBC English Regions David Holdsworth will step down next year after 33 years at the corporation.
Holdsworth, who was appointed controller in December 2008, has been overseeing the Local News Partnership scheme that is recruiting 150 local democracy reporters to work in the regional press.
BBC English Regions are responsible for all regional, non-networked television, text and radio output in England, including regional news programmes such as Look North and Points West.
Holdsworth said choosing to leave had been a “difficult decision” but that it was a “good moment” to hand over, adding: “Our budget is secure and the importance of the services we provide is understood clearly.”
He said: “I am hugely proud of the teams I have led for nearly nine years.”
BBC English Regions manages 39 radio stations attracting 6m listeners and produce the most watched news programme on British television in the 6.30pm BBC One regional bulletin, said Holdsworth.
But, he added: “The local media landscape has changed significantly since I first became a journalist 40 years ago.
“There has been a sharp drop in the number of journalists on local newspapers and there is less genuinely local radio or regional current affairs made outside the BBC.
“This makes the BBC’s local mission more crucial than ever. I will be cheering on my successor and the whole of English Regions once I have left.”
James Harding, director of BBC News and Current Affairs, said: “David is one of the most influential figures in the modern history of local radio and regional television at the BBC.
“During his 33 years at the BBC, he has launched two radio stations, worked as a TV producer and TV editor and ran three BBC regions.
“David is a relentless advocate of innovation. He has championed the transformation of English Regions into digital newsrooms, driving journalism online, on mobile and social media.
“He is decent and considerate, has sound judgment, strong principles and a good sense of humour. I’d like to thank him and wish him well for the future.”