New BBC Radio 2 Controller Announced

Bob Shennan has been appointed the new controller for national U.K. A/C network BBC Radio 2.

Shennan succeeds Lesley Douglas, who left the BBC last October amid the scandal over Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand's prank calls to actor Andrew Sachs (, Oct. 31 2008).

Shennan will start at Radio 2 in February and report to Tim Davie, BBC's director of audio and music. The station is the most listened to music network in the United Kingdom, with an average weekly reach of 13.06 million listeners in Q3 2008, according to audience measurement body RAJAR. Shennan also takes responsibility for digital modern rock station BBC 6 Music.

Although most recently head of national TV broadcaster Channel 4's ill-fated radio division, Shennan was previously controller of talk network BBC Radio 5 Live, manager of the BBC Asian Network and head of sport at the BBC. He remains deputy chair, fellow and trustee of the Radio Academy. Channel 4 announced its decision to pull out of radio in November last year.

"Bob is an outstanding leader with extensive radio experience and a proven track record in station management," said Davie in a statement. "Bob's energy, enthusiasm and passion for Radio 2 will ensure that the station remains creative and vibrant, and continues to offer unique programmes to the widest possible audience."

Shennan added: "Radio 2 is the cornerstone of U.K. radio. 6 Music is at the forefront of digital radio. It is a privilege to be asked to lead the extraordinary creative forces of both stations."

Lesley Douglas' other previous role, as controller of BBC popular music, has already been taken by Andy Parfitt, also controller of national top 40 network BBC Radio 1. Douglas is now director of programming and business development at Universal Music U.K. (, Nov. 25 2008).

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