The editor of Radio 4’s flagship news programme is navigating hostile territory – a Corporation that punishes free spirits
My old friend Sarah Sands is in a bit of bother at the BBC. Six months ago, she took over as editor of Radio 4’s Today programme, generally considered the Corporation’s most important news slot on radio or television. It was a strange appointment for a number of reasons; not least that Sarah had spent her life in newspapers and, most unusually at the BBC, is nominally a Tory. She is also believed to be stronger on features than news, and therefore perhaps not ideally suited to editing a hard-hitting news programme. Her supporters (and I am practically chairman of her fan club) feared there might be trouble ahead. And so it has proved to be. Sarah Sands is under attack inside and outside the Beeb for turning Today into a magazine-like show with frivolous overtones. The combative presenter Nick Robinson was recently packed off on a rather meaningless tour...
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