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MacKinnon stands down as director of BBC Scotland

Retiral: Donalda MacKinnon

BBC Scotland is searching for a new director after Donalda MacKinnon stood down from the post after four years.

The corporation’s Scottish chief broke the news to staff at Pacific Quay, her decision to retire bringing to an end a 33-year association with the broadcaster.

Ms MacKinnon said she had an exit strategy in mind when accepting the job, indicating that turning 60 was a watershed moment in her life. However, her decision also comes at a time when the BBC is seeking severe cutbacks and amid questions over the success of the £32m digital BBC Scotland channel launched a year ago.

“Reflecting back on all that we have achieved, and with complete certainty that we are in strong shape for the future, I’ve decided that this is the right time for me to stand down and allow a new leader to take you all to the next stage,” said Ms MacKinnon.

“It will be a milestone year for me and I’m keen, for family and personal reasons, to get some time back.

“It has not been an easy decision for me to leave this job, a brilliant team and the best colleagues and friends I could have wished to have…but I am sure that this is the right moment for me and for all of us.”

The BBC’s Director General Tony Hall said: “We’ll miss her – but we wish her a very happy retirement. As a passionate advocate of diversity and inclusion, Donalda has used her warmth and openness to bring about changes to the whole organisation, designed to make the BBC a great place in which to work for women and all.”

Commenting on the news, Scottish Labour Culture Spokesperson Claire Baker said: “Everyone at Scottish Labour would like to thank Donalda MacKinnon for her substantial contribution to public life in Scotland and would like to wish her every success in the future.

“At a time when the BBC is coming under increasing pressure from the Conservative government the need to protect the budget of BBC Scotland is greater than ever.

“Scottish Labour will continue to promote investment in BBC Scotland and we look forward to hearing who is to succeed Donalda MacKinnon in this crucial role.”

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