Breakfast challenge for BBC Radio York editor

Matt Youdale has been confirmed as acting editor at BBC Radio York.

He has been acting editor since November 2002 and his appointment comes at an important time – during the station’s 21st year of service.

He will oversee a split of the channel’s breakfast programme, to provide separate coverage for the Harrogate and lower Yorkshire Dales areas and an extra 15 hours of output per week from April.

“The idea is that it will be a completely separate programme with a different presentation line-up,” Youdale told Press Gazette. “We will try to meet the challenge of two additional hours of output every day with our existing workforce.” All staff at the station were invited to apply to be presenters on the new programme.

He added that the other main challenge for the station over the next six months would be to run events to celebrate its 21st anniversary on 4 July.

“A big party for past and present staff is a likelihood, and we’re looking possibly at staging a [variety] show, put on by staff here for the public, which is something we’ve done before and was hugely popular.”

Youdale took over from Barrie Stephenson, who is now running the BBC’s digital storytelling project.

He joined the BBC at Radio Derby in 1989 and went on to become regional health correspondent for the East Midlands for seven years. In 1994 and 2000, while at Radio Nottingham, Youdale won the SmithKline Beecham Medical Journalism Awards’ Gold Award in the local radio category. He then became acting managing editor of BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC Radio Leicester, before going to York.

John Ryan, previously responsible for marketing the BBC regional TV, local radio and Where I Live website services, has become managing editor of BBC Radio Leeds. His first priority is to oversee the station’s move to the new BBC North premises in Leeds.

By Wale Azeez

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