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Monday 01 Sep 2014

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Mary Hockaday appointed Head of BBC Multimedia Newsroom

Mary Hockaday (image: BBC/Anna Gordon)

Mary Hockaday has been appointed as Head of the BBC Multimedia Newsroom. She replaces Peter Horrocks, who left BBC News this month to become the Director of the BBC World Service.

Helen Boaden, Director of BBC News, said: "Mary has the editorial experience, clarity of vision and understanding of the digital world to take our newsroom to the next stage of its development in a multimedia age.

"Her rock solid commitment to BBC values and her mature, level-headed approach and resilience will stand her in good stead for one of the most exciting but pressurised jobs in the BBC."

Mary Hockaday said: "I am incredibly proud to be taking leadership of the BBC Multimedia Newsroom. The breadth of output and success with audiences is a tribute to the talent and commitment of everyone who works here.

"My focus will be on quality and ensuring that as audiences change the way they consume news, we are ahead of them and offering them the very best."

From 2001 to 2006 Mary was the Editor of BBC World Service News and Current Affairs running the whole of the daily and weekly news and current affairs output for World Service, through 9/11, Afghanistan and the Invasion of Iraq.

Under her leadership, World Service News and Current Affairs won a Special Sony Gold award in recognition of its 9/11 coverage and its global reputation.

Mary has been Deputy Head of the BBC Newsroom since 2007 and was central to the creation and leadership of the Multimedia Newsroom. As well as deputising overall, she lead the On-Demand, Radio and Mediawire teams.

Before that, she was deputy Head of BBC Radio News which includes Today, World At One, PM, World Tonight and BBC Radio 5 Live.

Mary began her BBC career in 1986 as a World Service Production Trainee.

She was a correspondent for the BBC and The Independent in Prague in the early Nineties and has worked as a reporter, producer and editor on a whole range of World Service news output. She has also been the editor of the World Today.

Mary studied English at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and took an MA in Journalism at New York University as a Fulbright Scholar.

The BBC Multimedia Newsroom was announced in October 2007 as part of the BBC's Delivering Creative Futures plan. It went live officially in April 2008.

Its creation has meant that one Multimedia Newsroom now brings together the strengths of the BBC's three platforms – TV, radio and web – whilst also helping to save money to invest in the improvement of BBC News.

Recently, the multimedia newsroom demonstrated its strengths and benefits with the coverage of the G20 summit and protests, the snow in February and President Obama's inauguration. Content was effectively spread across the output. 

With new merged teams, and centralised systems for sharing, the BBC can now select and deliver the best and most powerful audio, visual and text accounts of these important events to TV, radio and web outlets more speedily, therefore serving audiences better.


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