Entertainment & Arts

BBC director general sets target for women in local radio

Liz Green and Alina Jenkins
Image caption Liz Green and Alina Jenkins host breakfast shows on BBC Leeds and BBC Radio Solent

The BBC's director general has said he would like to see more women hosting or co-hosting breakfast shows on the corporation's local radio stations.

"By the end of 2014 I would like to see half of our local radio stations with a woman presenting on the breakfast shows," said Tony Hall on Thursday.

Currently, two local breakfast shows are presented solely by women, while seven have a woman co-hosting with a man, figures that equate to 22%.

The remaining 32 are presented by men.

Lord Hall made his comments on Thursday at the Edinburgh Television Festival during an unscheduled appearance at a panel event on the challenges he has faced since taking up his job in April.

He also addressed staff concerns regarding payouts to senior BBC managers, saying he was "concentrating on trying to lance that particular issue".

Across BBC local radio, women make up 48% of the entire workforce.

But only BBC Leeds' Liz Green and Alina Jenkins on BBC Radio Solent host the breakfast shows solo.

"Finding new and diverse voices is a challenge we relish," said David Holdsworth, controller of English Regions. "Work is already underway to better reflect the communities we serve.

"A series of initiatives have been launched to widen the way BBC Local Radio searches for and identifies talented presenters while, at the same time, seeking to address any challenges that women may face in this area."

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