The new head of BBC Scotland’s news and current affairs department begins work today.
Atholl Duncan takes over from Blair Jenkins, who stood down in July, it is understood in protest at proposed budget cuts.
Duncan is believed to be more sanguine about any cuts he might be asked to oversee, believing that economies are to be found throughout BBC Scotland and not just in news, and that, any, there’s money potentially available from the BBC’s central, Creative Fund. Spike also understands that Duncan plans to refresh what sources are calling a “predictable” news agenda, and to beef up the Corporation’s web presence and business coverage.
Duncan joins from utility, Scottish Water, which he joined from BBC Scotland.
When Jenkins resigned, he said it had been a “fantastic privilege to lead the news and current affairs team at BBC Scotland.”
He continued: “There is so much journalism to be proud of – awards at a European and UK level for Frontline, Reporting Scotland and Newsnight Scotland; the fact that Good Morning Scotland is achieving its best audiences in ten years; political coverage that is unrivalled for its range and depth; our Scottish news website which leads the BBC in much of its content and thinking. Those are just some examples from a long list. It’s been a pleasure and a source of no little pride to work with so many talented and committed people.”
During the interim, Alasdair MacLeod – executive editor, Political Programmes, for BBC Scotland – had been in charge.