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BBC Radio 5 Live appoints new controller in managing editor who commissioned Brexitcast

BBC Radio 5 Live managing editor Heidi Dawson has been made the station’s new controller.

Dawson joined Radio 5 Live in 2001 as a breakfast show producer and has since produced and edited most of the station’s news programmes.

She commissioned the successful Brexitcast podcast which first aired on 5 Live in 2017 and made the jump to TV this month with some 1m viewers.

Dawson said: “I’m absolutely thrilled to become the controller of the radio station I’ve loved listening to and working at for the last 18 years.

“I’m honoured to now be leading the most impressive, creative and hard-working team in the industry.

“I can’t wait to get started as controller and continue the evolution of the station with innovative and entertaining radio and podcasts that reflect the whole of the UK.”

Dawson takes on the role from Jonathan Wall who was appointed controller of BBC Sounds – the corporation’s audio app – in July.

Radio 5 Live is the BBC’s only network radio station based outside London, with its headquarters at Media City in Salford, Manchester.

Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra have a combined reach of 5.7m listeners per week, according to Rajar audience figures for the second quarter of 2019.

James Purnell, director of radio and education at the BBC, said: “5 Live is a constantly-moving, fast-paced environment and, during her time with the station, Heidi has proved herself as a confident leader with strong editorial judgement and a willingness to take risks.

“Heidi’s passion for 5 Live is clear to see and she’s going to make a fantastic Controller. I look forward to working with her and seeing the exciting future for 5 Live and Sports Extra.”

Picture: BBC

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