Controller, BBC Scotland, 2004–2016 (Director from 2009)
MacQuarrie was appointed Controller of BBC Scotland in April 2004.
Director, Nations and Regions, 2016–
MacQuarrie was appointed the BBC's Director, Nations and Regions on 22 September 2016, relinquishing his role as Director, Scotland on the same date. The role, which was abolished in 2009, was restored by Director General Tony Hall as part of his shake-up at the corporation. It gave MacQuarrie a seat on the corporation's new executive board in place of the directors of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Initial criticism of Scotland losing its place at the top table dampened in light of MacQuarrie's appointment. Reporting to MacQuarrie were: the directors of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the hubs in the North, Midlands and South West.
In an email to BBC staff, Director General Tony Hall paid tribute to MacQuarrie:
I’ve been so impressed by the work he’s done for us [...] Ken’s full of integrity — and always acts in the best interests of our audiences. He’s a great public servant.
He added, in a press release: "He [Kenny] is a supremely able leader and manager and is hugely respected, not just within the BBC, but outside as well."
In an email to BBC Scotland staff MacQuarrie said:
I will relish the opportunity to continue that focus on Scotland’s output and extend it to cover the other nations and regions, so that the BBC can truly reflect and represent all of the cultures and communities across the changing United Kingdom.
Donalda MacKinnon covered the leadership responsibilities in Scotland in the short term, until a permanent replacement was appointed.
- 'BBC Scotland head Ken MacQuarrie given new UK-wide director role', BBC News, 22 September 2016.
- 'Changes to BBC nations and regions management', BBC News, 6 July 2016.