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BBC News and Current Affairs announces senior appointments

MUMBAI: BBC News and Current Affairs today announced four senior appointments as part of a restructuring designed to place digital journalism at the heart of its daily output and to strengthen its current affairs programming.

The appointments follow the restructuring of BBC News announced in July which established three new departments – 24/7 and Digital News; Daily News Programmes; and Current Affairs.

Mary Hockaday will take up the new role of Controller, World Service English, BBC’s biggest radio network with a global audience of 42 million. This role will act as editor, ambassador and champion, taking creative responsibility for the network’s strategy.

As head of the newsroom, she oversaw the creation of the multimedia newsroom in New Broadcasting House, has led cross-platform coverage of stories and has led the newsroom. She started in the World Service, rising through the ranks to become Head of World Service News and Current Affairs. Under her leadership, the World Service will go on reaching new audiences and enriching the lives of listeners around the world and in the UK.

Gavin Allen is to become the controller of daily news programmes. He will be responsible for running the teams which produce flagship programmes on television and radio, including the BBC One bulletins, ‘Breakfast’, the Radio 4 sequences, World Service English news and 5 live. Gavin, currently News Editor, has worked in many different areas of BBC News and has been deputy editor of the ‘Today’ programme, editor of ‘The Politics Show’ and editor of political newsgathering at Millbank.

Jon Zilkha will become 24/7 and digital news controller, bringing live and digital news services together at the heart of the newsroom. He will oversee the BBC News Channel and BBC World News, the website and all the digital services in English, and ‘Newsbeat’. Jon, currently editor of the Business and Economics Unit, has worked in a variety of areas of BBC News including the ‘Today’ programme, as editor of ‘Newshour’ on World Service, as a strand editor on BBC World News and editor of ‘Drive’ on 5 live.

Fiona Campbell will be the head of current affairs, overseeing output on strands such as ‘File On 4’ and ‘Assignment’ on radio, and ‘Panorama’, ‘Newsnight’, ‘This World’ and ‘Hardtalk’ on television. Fiona is currently Acting Head of Documentaries and Features for BBC Three. She began as a researcher and producer in BBC Current Affairs and has been a commissioning editor and executive producer both for the BBC and Channel 4 News, working on programmes such as ‘Panorama’, ‘Dispatches’ and investigative undercover series such as ‘Crooked Britain’ and ‘Lifting the Bonnet’.

James Harding had announced the restructure of BBC News & Current Affairs on 17 July. A new phase of recruitment for other posts has begun. The recruitment for the role of Director, World Service Group is also underway.

The newsgathering department, led by Jonathan Munro, is unaffected by the changes.