Fran Unsworth moves into the role for the beeb following an open competition for the position.
“The Director of News and Current Affairs is one of the most demanding of any in broadcasting. News is at the very heart of the BBC. I am delighted Fran Unsworth is taking up the role. She brings a combination of excellent news judgement, authority, management knowhow, and the trust of her colleagues both in news and across the BBC.” – Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC
Fran began her journalistic career in 1980 in BBC Local Radio, later joining national Radio 1’s Newsbeat.
She spent some time as a network radio producer in Washington DC, and later joined Radio 4’s The World At One and PM. Fran was appointed the BBC’s Home News Editor and then, in 2001, Head of Political Programmes. In 2005 she became Head of Newsgathering, running one of the world’s largest newsgathering operations with bureaux across the world.
For periods between November 2012 and June 2013, Fran was the BBC’s Acting Director of News and Current Affairs. She was made Director of the BBC World Service Group three years ago. In this role she led the BBC’s global news services – BBC World Service, BBC World News and BBC.com’s news offering. Prior to her appointment to the World Service Group, she was Deputy Director of BBC News and Current Affairs.
In the past year Fran has overseen the biggest expansion of the World Service since the 1940s. This includes adding twelve new language services around the world, including services in Korean and Pidgin, and enhancing existing services, such as extra Russian language news bulletins.
Fran takes on her new position at the corporation from the start of 2018 the beeb have confirmed.
“I am delighted to lead BBC News and Current Affairs. We are living through a period of significant change at home and abroad. In a complex world, the BBC’s journalism matters more than ever. I am proud to lead a team of such dedicated and talented people.” – Fran Unsworth