Abramsky to leave BBC for heritage role

Jenny Abramsky, the BBC's director of audio and music, is leaving the corporation after 39 years.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown today announced she was becoming chairman of the board of the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

Abramsky joined the BBC in 1969 and her roles have included director of radio, editor of Radio 4's Today programme and launch commissioner at Radio 5 Live.

Director general Mark Thompson and chairman Sir Michael Lyons paid tribute to her work. Thompson said: "Her contribution to the BBC has been immense and she will leave a precious and lasting legacy.

"Everything she has done has been characterised by her legendary passion for the medium of radio and the BBC as a public service broadcaster, as well as her devotion to BBC audiences."

In an email to staff, Abramsky said: "Whilst this is a wonderful opportunity, it will be a great wrench for me to leave the BBC. I have spent my working life here, the vast majority of it in radio, and I am as passionate about it now as when I joined as a programme operations assistant 39 years ago...

"There is never a good time to leave, but I think now is the right time for me to take on a new challenge and I am thrilled to be given this opportunity to lead the Heritage Lottery Fund in its work of safeguarding and sustaining our wonderful heritage."