Page last updated at 13:30 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 14:30 UK

BBC's radio boss Abramsky resigns

Jenny Abramsky
Abramsky has edited Radio 4's key news programme

The BBC's head of radio Jenny Abramsky is leaving the corporation after a career spanning almost 40 years.

Abramsky has run the corporation's national radio stations since 1999, before which she was head of the BBC's continuous news department.

She was responsible for setting up Radio 5 Live, News 24 and News Online and has also been editor of Radio 4's Today, PM and the World at One.

Abramsky is leaving to chair the Heritage Lottery Fund.

BBC director general Mark Thompson said she would leave a "precious and lasting legacy".

'Legendary passion'

"Everything she has done has been characterised by her legendary passion for the medium of radio and the BBC as a public service broadcaster, as well as her devotion to BBC audiences," he said.

"She leaves BBC radio in remarkable health."

Abramsky joined the BBC in 1969 as a programmes operations assistant. She took over the station's flagship morning news programme Today in 1986, recruiting John Humphrys as a presenter.

The following year, Abramsky was put in charge of news across all BBC radio networks.

In 1991, she set up a rolling news service during the first Gulf War, the forerunner of Radio 5 Live, which went on air three years later.

'Amazing fun'

In recent years, the 61-year-old's work has included launching the Electric Proms live music event.

In 2001, she was appointed a CBE for services to radio.

Abramsky said she felt "privileged to have been involved for so many years, and it's been amazing fun".

"There is never a good time to leave, but I think now is the right time for me to take on a new challenge," she said.

"I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to lead the HLF in its work of safeguarding and sustaining our wonderful heritage."

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