The BBC has appointed its first Scotland editor to help bring “more in-depth analysis and context on big stories” north of the Border to UK audiences.
Sarah Smith, who recently presented current affairs programme Scotland 2015 on BBC Scotland, has been appointed to the new post and described it as a “very exciting opportunity”.
Smith, daughter of the late former Labour leader John Smith, started her career at BBC Scotland and went on to work for Channel 4 News before returning to the corporation to front Scotland 2014 in the run-up to the independence referendum.
The BBC said the role will “help reflect the re-alignment of UK politics following the general election in May”. The main purpose of the job is to provide coverage and analysis of significant Scottish stories for a UK audience through the Six and Ten O’Clock News, the Today programme, the radio bulletins and the BBC News website.Ms Smith said: “I am delighted to be appointed as the BBC’s first Scotland editor.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity at a time when Scottish affairs are so important to our understanding of the whole of the UK.
“I’m looking forward to working with an excellent team who will ensure our coverage of events in Scotland engages our audience across the UK and beyond.”
BBC Scotland’s recently-appointed head of news Gary Smith, who also starts in January, said: “I’m very pleased that Sarah is joining our top-class team in Glasgow.
“Her experience, knowledge and enthusiasm will be invaluable.”
Jonathan Munro, head of newsgathering for network programmes, said: “Sarah is a world-class journalist and analyst whose heart is in Scotland.
“I’m thrilled that she has agreed to join the network reporting team north of the border for BBC audiences across the UK and beyond.”