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Tuesday, 16 July, 2002, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
Radio 2 boss drops quit hint
Terry Wogan
Wogan is one of the bedrocks of Radio 2's success
BBC Radio 2 controller James Moir has dropped his strongest hint yet he may retire before the end of the year after seven years of success.

Since taking over in 1995, Mr Moir has turned Radio 2 into the nation's most popular station with 13 million listeners and a 15.7% audience share.

Mr Moir turned 60 - a typical BBC retirement age - in November but agreed to stay on for a year to oversee more changes.

Mark Lamarr
Mark Lamarr has helped the station to gongs
Among those are Sir Jimmy Young's move to a weekend slot. The veteran presenter's lunchtime slot is reportedly being filled by Newsnight's Jeremy Vine.

Mr Moir told Radio Times: "I am speaking quite often to my dear friends the director general [Greg Dyke] and the director of radio [Jenny Abramsky].

"I think we've now got Radio 2 to the next stage, and it's probably right for somebody else with a fresh vision to come in and have a look at it."

Sony awards

The controller has been feted for bringing in new faces like Mark Lamarr and Jonathan Ross and helping to give the station a younger demographic while retaining older listeners.

Mr Moir also runs the BBC's digital station 6music, which launched in March and specialises in new and classic rock, pop and soul music.

There has been controversy over some aspects of the way Sir Jimmy's departure was handled, but Mr Moir's reputation as Radio 2's reviver is more than secure.

Among the awards won during his tenure have been a slew of Sony radio awards, including best national station for the last three years.

Should Mr Moir decide to go, he will be vacating one of the most powerful jobs in radio and a plethora of candidates would be expected to show an interest.

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