BBC moves news director in revamp

Beeb vet to head department overseeing global news

LONDON — Richard Sambrook, BBC director of news at the time of the spat over the allegedly “sexed-up” Iraqi dossier that led to the worst crisis in the pubcaster’s history, has been moved sideways in another round of musical chairs at the Beeb.

The BBC vet, who’s popular with staff, will head a new department encompassing the World Service, which broadcasts in more than 40 languages, and the outfit’s other global news activities.

One of his first tasks will be to improve the performance of BBC World, a money-losing international news web that is still outgunned in overseas markets by CNN.

His successor as director of news is Helen Boaden, who has run the BBC’s flagship Radio 4 for the past four years. She is the first woman to hold the job.

Announcing the moves, which follow last week’s unexpected exit by BBC Worldwide CEO Rupert Gavin and speculation that BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessy may be next to ankle, director-general Mark Thompson said: “Richard and Helen are the right people to lead these two vital parts of the BBC’s journalism in the future as we continue to strengthen and develop our output both in the U.K. and around the world.”

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