Jenny Abramsky is to step down as BBC director of Audio & Music, after 39 years at the BBC.
Abramsky is leaving the corporation at the end of September to chair the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Abramsky joined the BBC as a programme operations assistant 39 years ago.
She went on to edit the World At One and the Today programme, before becoming overall editor of allrRadio news and current affairs at the BBC. She set up a continuous news service, Gulf FM during the Gulf war, which acted as a forerunner to Radio 5 Live, where she was launch controller.
Abramsky has also been director of the BBC Continuous News department – launching News 24 and BBC News online. As director of radio she launched five digital radio services. More recently, as director of Audio and Music she has been responsible for all BBC music output and commissioned the Electric Proms.
In an email to BBC staff, director general Mark Thompson said of Abramsky: “Her contribution to the BBC has been immense and she will leave a precious and lasting legacy. Everything she has done has been characterised by her legendary passion for the medium of radio and the BBC as a public service broadcaster, as well as her devotion to BBC audiences. She leaves BBC Radio in remarkable health with record audience figures and an exciting digital future already in place.”
Thompson added that the BBC would shortly begin the process of appointing Abramsky’s successor.
She said it would be ‘a great wrench’to leave the BBC, adding: ‘”I have always believed that the BBC is the most important cultural institution in the UK. Its willingness to take risks, its ambition that permeates through its programmes and schedules, and the unsurpassed quality of its news output demonstrates every day that it can and does make a difference. I feel privileged to have been involved for so many years, and it’s been amazing fun.”