22/07/2004

BBC's Richard Sambrook takes up new post

Richard Sambrook, the man who headed BBC news when Andrew Gilligan broadcast his now notorious report claiming the government probably knew its '45-minute claim' over Iraq's WMDs was wrong, has moved to a new post.

Mr Sambrook is to become Director of the BBC's World Service & Global News division, responsible for developing the BBC's overall global news strategy across radio, TV and new media. He will take up his new post in September.

Richard Sambrook said: "I've devoted my professional life to BBC journalism so I'm delighted to have the opportunity to lead the BBC's international news services at such a crucial time for audiences around the world.

"To take the great strengths and heritage of the World Service and build on them across radio, TV and new media will be an enormous challenge and a great privilege."

The BBC's Director-General Mark Thompson said today: "Richard is the right person to lead this vital part of the BBC's journalism in the future as we continue to strengthen and develop our output both in the UK and around the world."

Mark Byford, Deputy DG and head of all the BBC's journalism, said: "After nearly four years as Director of BBC News Richard Sambrook will provide fresh leadership of the BBC's global news role, which has been given high prominence in the BBC's manifesto Building Public Value.

In Lord Hutton's report, Mr Sambrook was referred to in reference to failings and defects of BBC management to investigate properly concerns raised internally about the Gilligan report and subsequent complaints made by the government. The corporation's chairman Gavyn Davies and its director general Greg Dyke both resigned after Lord Hutton published his findings.

It was also announced today that Mr Sambrook will be succeeded as Director of BBC News by Helen Boaden, currently Controller of Radio 4 and BBC 7.

Ms Boaden will be responsible for all UK-wide news and current affairs across radio, television and new media and for all BBC News staff, including Newsgathering.

Both Mr Sambrook and Ms Boaden will be members of the BBC's new Journalism Board, reporting to Deputy Director-General Mark Byford, together with Pat Loughrey, Director Nations & Regions, and Stephen Whittle, Controller of Editorial Policy.

The BBC also confirmed the appointment of Nigel Chapman as Director of the World Service, reporting to Richard Sambrook on all World Service activities.

Jenny Abramsky, Director of Radio & Music, will be advertising the post of Controller, Radio 4 and BBC 7 shortly with a view to making an appointment as soon as possible.

(gmcg)

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