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08/01/2004

BBC Scotland chief announces April retirement

John McCormick, Controller of BBC Scotland since January 1992, is to retire in April after 34 years with the BBC.
McCormick, 59, has presided over a period of unprecedented growth at BBC Scotland, which now has an annual turnover of more than £170 million compared to less than £60 million when he arrived.
Commenting on his decision, McCormick said: "Just before Christmas we formally lodged our planning application for BBC Scotland's new Broadcasting Centre at Pacific Quay in Glasgow.
"This new site offers a new vision for BBC Scotland and the lodging of the plans also represents a significant milestone for me personally.
"This is the ideal moment to make way for my successor, to lead BBC Scotland through the changes that will take us into the new building in 2007."
He added: "It has been an exhilarating 12 years and I have enjoyed my time here enormously."
The BBC's National Governor for Scotland, Sir Robert Smith, paid tribute to John McCormick's contribution to public life in Scotland.
Sir Robert said: "BBC Scotland has been fortunate to have had John McCormick as its Controller for the past 12 years.
"His vision, his inspiration and his commitment to public service have set standards for BBC Scotland that will serve to define the organisation in the years to come.
"Scotland, too, has been fortunate.
"John's personal contribution has been not only as a great leader of the BBC in Scotland, but as a great man in the country's public life with a wide range of cultural and academic organisations benefiting from his wisdom and experience over many years."
Pat Loughrey, Director of the BBC's Nations and Regions, added: "It is almost impossible to imagine BBC Scotland without John McCormick.
"It is absolutely impossible to exaggerate the immense contribution he has made, both as a strong and passionate leader for the BBC in Scotland and as an extraordinarily powerful advocate for Scotland within the BBC.
"Under his leadership BBC Scotland has enjoyed unprecedented success, both as Scotland's national broadcaster and as an ever expanding production house for the BBC's networks.
"On John's watch it has been the trusted guide to Scotland before, during and after the sea change of devolution - and he has now bequeathed to his successor the vision of an increasingly strong BBC Scotland, at its new home in Pacific Quay.
"We wish him a long, happy and active retirement - and I'm sure that we haven't seen the last of him!"
Greg Dyke, Director-General of the BBC, said: "For the past two decades John McCormick has been at the very heart of the BBC in London and in Scotland.
"As BBC Secretary he was a key member of the team that began negotiations leading to the successful renewal of the current BBC Charter with the then Conservative Government and was a source of unrivalled wisdom and commonsense to successive Chairmen and Director-Generals.
"As Controller of BBC Scotland, he has been the driving force behind more than a decade of unprecedented expansion in the BBC's production and programming base and has seen the affection and respect in which the BBC is held in Scotland grow to new levels.
"I salute his outstanding achievements throughout an outstanding career and wish him every success in the future."
The search for a successor is to begin immediately.
(GB)
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