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July 7, 2020

PM editor Owenna Griffiths to take over from Sarah Sands at Today

By Charlotte Tobitt

PM and Broadcasting House editor Owenna Griffiths will take the helm at BBC Radio 4’s Today programme in September.

Griffiths will take over from Sarah Sands in early September. Ex-Evening Standard editor Sands announced in January she planned to leave the BBC after sweeping cuts were announced in the news division.

Griffiths, who previously worked on Today for nine years, including as deputy editor, said: “Perhaps rather embarrassingly, the Today programme has been a part of my life since I first started listening at university.

“I learned so much about journalism when working there as a producer and it is a huge privilege to be asked to return as editor.

“I’d like to thank Sarah Sands for handing on a programme in such good shape and look forward to getting stuck in after the summer.”

Griffiths (pictured) also led teams at Newsround and the World at One before joining PM in September 2018.

The BBC said her “successful” stint on the programme included in-depth analysis of the 2019 general election, listeners sharing their Covid Chronicles during the current pandemic, and the award-winning series Anatomy of a Stabbing.

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PM presenter Evan Davis tweeted that he was “really sorry to lose her” from the programme “where she has been both delightful to work with, and incisive in her judgement”.

BBC director of news Fran Unsworth said: “Owenna’s creativity, original thinking and wealth of radio experience make her the ideal choice as Today’s new editor. I’m confident she and the team will take our flagship programme from strength to strength.”

BBC radio controller Mohit Bakaya added: “Owenna is a brilliant editor, who combines her terrific journalistic instinct with a rare creative imagination.

“At the helm of both the World at One and later PM, Owenna has thought hard about how to unlock politics for the Radio 4 audience, as well as find interesting ways to engage listeners and explore the forces that shape the world around us.

“I know she will bring the same qualities to her editorship of Today.”

Sands has edited Today for three and a half years after taking a pay cut to join the programme in 2017 from the Standard.

Today has a weekly reach of 7.12m according to the latest Rajar figures for the three months to 29 March, down from 7.37m in the previous quarter and 7.32m last year.

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