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BBC Sounds launch director to leave role after opting to stay in the North


The launch director of the BBC Sounds app is to leave her job after opting not to continue to commute to London from her home in the North.

Charlotte Lock has been at the corporation for eight years after an agency career spent with the likes of BJL and McCann Eriksson.

She had been responsible for the overall strategic development and delivery of the BBC Sounds app, which brings together the corporation’s radio, music and podcasts and launched in October 2018.

The app initially attracted criticism for issues including the ineffectiveness of its search function, a failure to reliably display track names and the difficulty of sharing content, and it still only has a rating of 2.1 out of 5 in the App Store.

But in an email to staff, James Purnell, Director, Radio & Education, today paid tribute to Lock’s impact.

He said: “Launching any new product into a mature market is a challenge and was only possible thanks to Charlotte’s personal commitment and collaborative leadership. She has worked with teams in D+E, Radio and Music and M+A to develop a clear strategy and high performing teams, and leaves Sounds in a great place for the next phase of growth.

Charlotte Lock oversaw the launch of the BBC Sounds app

“I respect Charlotte’s reasons for opting out of this next phase for Sounds, and with her agreement, I want to share that context with you. I persuaded Charlotte to move from her role as Director of M&A for R&E and Content to lead the launch phase of Sounds, knowing that meant typically travelling 20 hours each week back and forth from her home in the North of England.

“Charlotte has been clear that the next phase of Sounds needs visible and hands-on leadership in London and cannot be done remotely – a commitment that unfortunately, Charlotte can’t make long-term with a young family and home in the North.

“Charlotte will therefore be handing over her leadership remit to the new Controller Sounds over the summer and we can trust she will hand things over in great shape, recruiting a programme management team and establishing new governance, commissioning, curation and measurement frameworks before she goes.”

She will now be taking up an opportunity closer to home with at BBC Sport, undertaking a review of its work in relation to younger audiences.

Prior to working on BBC Sounds, Lock was Director of Marketing & Audiences, Media & North.

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