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Former Newsround boss is announced as a replacement for Radio 4’s Today program

BBC Radio 4’s PM program editor will move to the Today show from September, replacing current editor Sarah Sands.

Bafta and International Emmy-winning editor Mrs. Griffiths has over 25 years of journalistic experience and previously led teams at Newsround and the World at One.

Previously, she worked for the Today program for nine years.

Sarah Sands will be replaced as editor of the Today program after the summer, the BBC announced on Tuesday

Sarah Sands will be replaced as editor of the Today program after the summer, the BBC announced on Tuesday

Ms. Griffiths said, “Perhaps quite embarrassing, the Today program has been part of my life since I first started listening in college.

“I learned so much about journalism when I worked there as a producer and it is a huge privilege to be asked to return as an editor.

Emmy and Bafta winning editor Owenna Griffiths will start editing BBC Radio 4's Today program from September

Emmy and Bafta winning editor Owenna Griffiths will start editing BBC Radio 4's Today program from September

Emmy and Bafta winning editor Owenna Griffiths will start editing BBC Radio 4’s Today program from September

“I want to thank Sarah Sands for submitting a program in such good shape and looking forward to getting stuck after the summer.”

A BBC spokesperson said yesterday: ‘Owenna’s successful editorial with the PM program included in-depth analysis from the UK during the 2019 general election, the recent Covid Chronicles, where listeners shared their own experiences of the pandemic and the award. winning seven-part series Anatomy Of A Stabbing. ‘

The appointment comes just weeks after it was announced that the BBC had lowered its editorial position to a ‘toothless’ new ‘executive’ role with less power to set the news agenda.

It is amid plans to reduce the number of live political interviews during the morning broadcast as part of the company’s plan to save £ 80 million.

Who is Owenna Griffiths?

Cambridge graduate Owenna Griffiths spent nine years on the Today program, taking on the role of assistant editor before being appointed as the editor of Newsround in 2009 and holding the position until 2012.

My Autism and Me – a piece that aired on the children’s news show, won the Best Factual Program at the International Emmy Kids Awards in 2013.

In December 2012, she became the assistant editor of TV and Current Affairs.

In May 2015, Ms. Griffiths was appointed as the assistant editor of the Today program, a position she held until August 2016.

After that, she went as an editor to Radio 4’s The World at One, where she worked until 2018.

She has been editor of the PM program since September 2018.

Ms. Griffiths will take up her new role as Today’s editor from September this year.

Fran Unsworth, BBC news director, says: ‘Owenna’s creativity, original thinking and a wealth of radio experience make her the ideal choice as today’s new editor.

“I am confident that she and the team will take our flagship program from strength to strength. I also want to thank Sarah Sands for everything she has done over the past three and a half years.

“Under her leadership, the program has expanded coverage to explore a range of new topics and see guest editors from the Duke of Sussex to Greta Thunberg.”

Last month, The Telegraph reported that Mrs. Griffiths was one of a number of internal candidates, including Richard Breakfast, executive editor of BBC Breakfast; Adam Cumiskey, lead program producer at Newsnight; and John Neal, editor of The Andrew Marr Show.

Mohit Bakaya, Controller of BBC Radio 4, says: ‘Owenna is a brilliant editor, combining her great journalistic instinct with a rare creative imagination.

At the helm of both the World at One and later Prime Minister, Owenna has thought carefully about how to unlock politics for the Radio 4 audience, and find interesting ways to engage listeners and explore the powers the world can bring to us. to form. I know she will add the same qualities to her Today editorial. ‘

Owenna will assume the role in early September and her successor as editor at PM will be announced in due course.

Ms. Sands announced that she was stepping down as Today’s editor in January, following the BBC’s decision to cut 450 jobs in the company’s news department as part of plans to complete its £ 80 million savings target by 2022.

Sands, a former editor of the Evening Standard, said in an email to staff that she is “from another world,” but added that she was “proud” of what the Today program was under “constant pressure.” had reached.

While there is no evidence that the recently announced cutbacks will affect the Today program, friends of the journalist said she had decided to resign in protest of the prospect of massive job cuts around the company.

Who is Sarah Sands?

Sarah Sands started her life as a journalist in the Sevenoaks Chronicle in Kent, before moving on to the Evening Standard.

Her career with the evening newspaper started as an editor of the Londoner’s Diary and took on other roles as editor-in-chief and associate editor.

In 1996, she joined the Daily Telegraph as an alternate editor.

In 2005 she became the first female editor of Sunday Telegraph, a year later she worked as a consultant editor for the Daily Mail.

Ms. Sands was appointed editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest in 2008 and returned to the Evening Standard in 2009 as deputy editor.

Between 2012 and 2017, she was editor of the London newspaper.

Since 2017, she is editor of the Today program, Radio 4’s morning news broadcast, and also works with the Reuter’s Institute, where she focuses on the media’s relationship with the government.

“She couldn’t bear to lose jobs for years, so she decided to give up hers first,” said one of them.

And in an email to the staff, seen through The Guardian, she said, “I’ve decided September is a good time to move on and pass this job on to someone else. I loved Radio 4 as a listener, I loved it even more as a member of the team.

“But I’m from a different world and I would never become a lifer. I am so proud of what we have achieved, in favor of intelligent broadcasting and political independence, under constant pressure.

“I have witnessed not only extraordinary professionalism and astute determination here, but also a heartwarming consideration of one another.

The Today program is a beacon of news journalism. It was and remains the most expensive BBC program. ‘

During her tenure, Sands was criticized for the direction the program has taken amid declining listener numbers.

She came under fire for allegedly making the program “too soft”. But hit back later, saying that people had been polarized by Brexit and found it “intolerable” to hear views they disagreed with.

After news of her departure was announced, BBC news director Fran Unsworth said: “Sarah has brought new ideas and a fresh look to the Today program over the past three years.

Under her editorship, she broadened the program’s agenda, put a new focus on science and art, and left the nation with the puzzle for today.

She has ordered a series of formidable guest editors from Greta Thunberg to the Duke of Sussex. We thank her for all her hard work and wish her every success for the future after she leaves the program this summer. ‘

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