The BBC said Friday it has named Fran Unsworth director of news and current affairs following an open competition.
She replaces James Harding, who announced his departure earlier this year.
BBC director general Tony Hall said: “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 judgment, authority, management knowhow and the trust of her colleagues both in news and across the BBC.”
Unsworth, who will take over the role at the start of the new year, said: “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.”
Unsworth began her journalistic career in 1980 in BBC Local Radio, joining Radio 1’s Newsbeat. She also spent some time as a network radio producer in Washington D.C. and later joined Radio 4. She was appointed the BBC’s home news editor and then, in 2001, head of political programs.
Unsworth was made director of the BBC World Service Group in December 2014 after serving as deputy director of BBC News and Current Affairs.