Rhodri Talfan Davies named director of BBC Cymru Wales

Rhodri Talfan Davies has been named the new director of BBC Cymru Wales.

Born in Cardiff, Mr Davies began his career in BBC regional news in England before joining the private sector to launch the HomeChoice on-demand TV service and work for NTL.

He rejoined the corporation in 2006 as head of strategy and communications for BBC Cymru Wales.

BBC director general Mark Thompson paid tribute to Keith Jones, who had filled the post temporarily.

Announcing the new appointment on Tuesday, Mr Thompson said: "Rhodri brings with him a wealth of experience across journalism, radio, and the development of new digital services.

"His deep understanding of Wales - and the BBC's crucial role in the nation's life - will equip him brilliantly for the challenge of leading such a successful and ambitious part of the organisation."

Mr Jones - praised by Mr Thompson for his "effective stewardship" - said he wished his successor well in the role he will take up in September.

"Having worked with Rhodri for a number of years I know that he will be an inspirational and energetic leader and that BBC Wales will be in safe hands in the years to come," said Mr Jones.

Thanking Mr Jones for his stewardship of BBC Wales during the recruitment search, Mr Thompson said he had been "a formidable member of the BBC Wales management team and a superb and determined champion of Welsh language broadcasting".

"After more than 20 years with the BBC, Keith has decided that now is the time to pursue new opportunities beyond the doors of BH Llandaff," he added.

Drama village

First Minister Carwyn Jones congratulated Mr Davies and said: "The BBC is undergoing a period of substantial change, with a significant number of challenges lying ahead.

"As a modern democracy, Wales needs a strong and dynamic media. The BBC plays a vitally important role in educating, entertaining and informing the people of Wales.

"I look forward to working closely with Rhodri and his team in the years ahead."

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan offered her "warmest congratulations".

"His depth of experience speaks for itself and I am sure will continue to strengthen the output that is so vital to Wales and its culture," she said.

"With the development of the drama village in Cardiff Bay, this is an exciting time for BBC Cymru Wales.

Plaid Cymru heritage spokesperson Bethan Jenkins also sent her congratulations and said Mr Davies was taking over at a crucial time.

"The proposed cuts to the corporation's work over the coming months will represent a major challenge.

"BBC Wales' initial plans for the future were recently leaked to the press, and it will now be the new director's responsibility to engage with staff and other interested parties in order to regain some lost ground.

"I hope that it will be his priority to ensure that staff do not face compulsory redundancies, and that services are safeguarded."

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