James Boyle (broadcasting)

James Boyle (Broadcasting)

James Boyle (broadcasting)

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James Boyle is one of the leading public figures in the British arts world with a long track record in broadcasting in particular. His take-no-prisoners style has earned him numerous plaudits, but also resulted in controversy, most famously at BBC Radio 4.

At the BBC

Boyle spent more than 25 years at the BBC. A series of high-profile posts culminated in four years as head of BBC Radio Scotland and four years as controller of BBC Radio 4. At Radio Scotland he oversaw sweeping changes which – while generating a mixed mailbag from listeners whose favourite presenter had been axed – led to the station's being named UK Radio Station of the Year at the broadcasting industry’s Sony Awards.

In 1996 Boyle was appointed to head Radio Four, the UK's premier radio station. Boyle overhauled almost the entire schedule., BBC News, April 7, 1998. Accessed October 9, 2008. Critics outside and inside the BBC questioned the number of changes, and their timing, and he was nicknamed "MacBirt", in reference to his being a Scottish version of BBC Director-General Lord Birt . However, after the changes bedded in, they were shown to have been successful, with many of the new shows receiving acclaim, including John Peel’s quirky Home Truths, arts program Front Row, and lighthearted current affairs show Broadcasting House. Boyle announced his departure in 2000, leading The Observer newspaper to run the headline: “He Came, He Conquered, He...
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