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BBC Scotland Director Donalda MacKinnon to Step Down

BBC Scotland director Donalda MacKinnon has announced plans to step down this autumn. The first ever woman to hold that post, MacKinnon has led the public broadcaster’s Scottish division since 2016.

“I’ve decided that this is the right time for me to stand down and allow a new leader to [take over],” MacKinnon told staff at the BBC Studios in Pacific Quay, Glasgow. “It has not been an easy decision… but I am sure that this is the right moment for me and for all of us.”

The outgoing director cites her upcoming 60th birthday as a key factor prompting her retirement. “It will be a milestone year for me,” she said, “and I’m keen, for family and personal reasons, to get some time back.”

A 33-year veteran of the BBC, MacKinnon served as head of programs and services (radio, television and digital) and had overseen the children’s and Gaelic services before ascending the top post.

Under MacKinnon’s leadership, the broadcaster launched the BBC Scotland television channel in 2017. Backed by more than £30 million ($37.4 million) in funding, the new channel offered Scottish focused programing and content; the channel went live in February 2019.

“[Donalda] has achieved an enormous amount in her time at the BBC and been a passionate advocate both for the BBC in Scotland – and for Scotland’s interests inside the organization,” said outgoing BBC director general Tony Hall in a statement.

Like MacKinnon, Hall also announced that he would step down recently. He is expected to leave his post later this year.

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