Fran Unsworth, 59, joined the BBC at the age of 23. She’s now 59. From her Wikipedia page:
Unsworth was appointed Head of Newsgathering in January 2005.
In December 2005, Unsworth appeared on the BBC’s Newswatch programme, facing accusations of double standards in BBC News reporting of racial crimes when white people were the victims. Complainants suggested the BBC buried stories such as the racist murder of Kriss Donald, with comparable murders involving black victims given twelve times more coverage and the opening of an arts centre in Gateshead reported in preference to Donald’s murder. Unsworth admitted the case had not been covered sufficiently and that there had been space to do so. Her department again failed to cover the case adequately the following year. In 2011 BBC News was criticised for referring to looters in the 2011 London riots as “protesters”, even two days into the violence. In response to 62 complaints about the matter, Unsworth conceded that the BBC [J4MB: She clearly was not personally to blame] had been wrong to do so.
From the Times online piece on the matter:
Fran Unsworth, who joined the corporation in 1980, will take over from James Harding in the New Year.
Mr Harding announced in October that he was quitting the corporation to launch his own journalism venture, details of which are yet to be announced…
She was selected over other internal BBC candidates including Jonathan Munro, head of newsgathering, Kamal Ahmed, economics editor, and Gavin Allen, controller of daily news programmes.
Ms Unsworth [J4MB: Ms. What are the chances?] will be in line for a substantial pay rise from her salary of £216,000. Mr Harding, a former editor of The Times, earned £340,000 a year. The BBC said her salary details would be announced in due course…
Her promotion will also help the BBC to address its gender pay gap. The corporation revealed this year that its male employees earned an average of 9.3 per cent more than women.