Mary Hockaday became Controller, BBC World Service English in October 2014. In a distinguished career at the BBC she has led global and UK radio, television and digital journalism teams.
Mary has been a champion of the BBC World Service since she joined the BBC in 1986 as a BBC World Service Production trainee. In the early 1990s she was based in Prague as correspondent for the BBC and The Independent, covering post-communist Czech Republic. She reported, presented and edited World Service news programmes and became editor of BBC World Service News and Current Affairs from 2001- 2006, running daily and weekly output through the network’s coverage of 9/11, Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. Under her leadership the department won a special Sony Gold award in recognition of its 9/11 coverage.
Mary then became Deputy Head of BBC Radio News working with teams including Today, The World at One and Radio 5live. Appointments as Deputy Head and Head of the new multi-platform Newsroom followed. As Head of the BBC Newsroom Mary led the migration of radio, television and digital teams to New Broadcasting House and Salford. Areas under her leadership included the BBC News at Six and Ten, the BBC News Channel, the BBC Radio Newsroom and the BBC News website. Mary championed the BBC’s digital and mobile strategy for News supporting innovation with an emphasis on new platforms. As Controller BBC World Service English she is driving a radio and digital strategy forward to reach new audiences, hungry for impartial, contemporary, global journalism.
Mary is the diversity champion for News Group supporting on and off-air diversity strategies around portrayal, recruitment and retention. She is the author of a biography of Milena Jesenska, 20th Century Czech journalist and muse of Franz Kafka.
Mary studied English at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and took an MA in Journalism at New York University as a Fulbright Scholar.