BBC appoints Head of Local Radio

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The BBC has confirmed that Chris Burns is to take up the role of head of local radio - a position based outside of London.

Burns is currently chief operating officer within the deputy director general’s group. However, she began her career in radio, across local, network and commercial. She chaired the Radio Academy for 3 years and spent 4 years as head of group operations for radio.

“I’m really looking forward to returning to Local Radio and excited at the prospect of collaborating with local editors and teams right across England,” she said.

"Local Radio is unique – we’re there before anyone else when a big story breaks, we’re a companion to millions across the country and we give a voice to many communities who might otherwise not be heard.  

"We have a lot to be excited about in the audio world with the launch of BBC Sounds coming soon and I’m looking forward to helping nurture local talent, and leading the work to reinvent Local Radio for the next generation.”

There will be a transition to the role over the coming weeks and Burns will report directly to Helen Thomas, BBC director, England.

“We are focused on investing in serving local communities, at a time when many competitors are moving away from local services.  It’s something I’m hugely passionate about.  I’m looking forward to working with Chris to help develop an exciting vision for the future of Local Radio, helping to realise the potential of what it can be - and can do - for the next generation,” added Thomas.

The head of local radio’s remit is to provide editorial leadership across the country and provide “more creative freedom” to local editors.