Chris Burns is the BBC Controller of Local Audio Commissioning. She was appointed in May 2022 and is responsible for delivering innovative, creative, high value, quality audio for local audiences across all BBC platforms.
Chris is responsible for the overall strategic direction of local audio – including Local Radio, Podcasts and the Local Rail on BBC Sounds.
Chris is passionate about audio and sees local radio as the front door to the BBC – and the wider creative industry. She has spearheaded talent schemes such as New Voices and Upload – the equivalent of BBC Introducing for spoken word artists. Recent podcast successes include Love Bombed hosted by Vicky Pattison and produced by BBC Newcastle.
Chris joined local radio in October 2018 as the Head of Audio and Digital for BBC England, responsible for all 39 local BBC radio stations. She led the network through COVID launching Make a Difference twenty four hours after the country went into lockdown, which led to the creation of the Make a Difference Community Hero Awards.
Chris has worked in local radio for both the BBC and the commercial sector. She was the editor of daytime programmes on BBC Radio 4 including Desert Island Discs, Any Questions, Woman’s Hour, You and Yours, Saturday Live and Start the Week. She launched Saturday Live and was responsible for bringing new voices to Radio 4 including Jane Garvey and Kirsty Young. She chaired the Radio Academy for three years and is one of the founders of Sound Women, a group which campaigned to ensure that women were fairly represented across the industry.