Helen Boaden confirmed as director of radio

Helen Boaden Helen Boaden will be the director of Radio

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Helen Boaden has been confirmed as the director of radio and will leave her job as director of news.

Boaden, whose leadership of News was called into question during the Savile crisis and criticised in the Pollard Report, has an extensive background in radio and is a former controller of Radio 4.

'Combined with the excellent job she has done in News for the last eight years, Helen has much to bring to the world of radio and music,' said Tony Hall in a staff email.

The incoming director general - who has no plans to recruit a deputy - announced his first major appointments to the BBC's top team on Thursday.

The recruitment process for Boaden's successor at News will begin shortly.

Television and Radio

Hall explained that he was changing the names of Vision and Audio and Music to Television and Radio respectively 'as this is what we, and our audiences, actually call them'.

The new DG said he will make some direct appointments to his senior team while other jobs will be advertised. A new director of television is currently being sought, as is a new leader of Finance and Business.

He has also appointed James Purnell to the newly created role of director of strategy and digital. Purnell is a former BBC head of corporate planning who left to work for Tony Blair and later became secretary of state for culture.

The BBC confirmed that the new director will be paid £295,000.

He will lead Future Media, Policy and Strategy, Marketing and Audiences and Public Affairs and Communication divisions from March 20; the directors of these divisions will report to Purnell rather than the DG.

Acting director general Tim Davie previously had the top job at Audio and Music. He will become CEO of BBC Worldwide and director, Global, from April 2 when Tony Hall takes over the directorship of the BBC.

Radio background

Boaden has been director of News since 2004, overseeing UK-wide network news and a team of 8000 staff. She took on responsibility for the Global News division in 2011.

Her total remuneration in the 2011/12 Annual Report was listed as £354,000.

She joined the BBC in 1983 and went on to be editor of File on 4, a producer and presenter of Woman's Hour, head of business programmes and head of current affairs - the first woman to do the job.

In a memo to News staff, Boaden said: 'Everyone knows that I love radio and always have. I have championed our radio programmes in News and visited every one of our local radio stations across England.

'So naturally I genuinely relish returning to this cherished and uniquely creative part of the BBC, especially under a new DG who is passionate about its importance.

'But leaving News and all of you is undoubtedly a wrench.'

She will lead radio from April 15. Fran Unsworth, currently head of newsgathering, will take over as acting director of News on March 19.

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