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Carson named new director of BBC Scotland

BBC Scotland

BBC Scotland has named the man behind the launch of the Scotland digital channel as its new director.

Mr Carson currently works for BBC Scotland as head of multi-platform commissioning. He will replace Donalda MacKinnon, who will step down later this year after four years in the role.

He will lead 1,100 staff across 13 centres, producing English and Gaelic content for TV, radio and digital platforms.

BBC director-general Tony Hall said: “He brings with him a combination of excellence in programme making, leadership and the respect and trust of the staff.

“Steve set up the BBC Scotland channel brilliantly and I wish him every success in the future.”

Ken MacQuarrie, director of BBC nations and regions, said: “Steve has a wealth of experience from across the broadcasting industry and is hugely respected inside and outside the organisation

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“A passionate advocate of ambitious quality programming, Steve has an inspirational and exciting vision for the BBC in Scotland and I know he will embrace the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.”

Mr Carson said : “I’ve got a very hard act to follow in Donalda MacKinnon, an inspirational creative leader who has overseen a significant investment for Scotland including a new channel, the establishment of an advanced technology hub and an enhanced newsroom at a time of budget challenges for the BBC.”

A native of Northern Ireland, where his late father Tom was a journalist at the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Carson graduated from Manchester University before joining the BBC.

He has held a variety of roles, from youth and entertainment features to being a producer/director on Newsnight, Spotlight and Panorama.

He returned to Ireland in 1997 and later established the independent production company Mint Productions, which supplied the major broadcasters in the UK and Ireland.

A former vice-president of the European Broadcasting Union’s television committee and chairman of the RTS Northern Ireland, he will take up his new role in the autumn.

Hartley leaves Standard Life Aberdeen

Steve Hartley, global head of communications at Standard Life Aberdeen, has left almost 25 years after joining the Edinburgh-based financial company.

Mr Hartley began his career processing mortgage endowment applications in the Leeds branch and has lately been leading on the firm’s communications around the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It has been a varied and thoroughly enjoyable journey,” he said.

His departure follows other departures from the comms office, including Barry Cameron and Sara Reed, since Standard Life and Aberdeen Asset Management merged in 2017.

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