Leading British radio executive Lesley Douglas has been elevated to oversee the BBC's popular music ambitions.

With immediate effect, Douglas has added stripes as controller of BBC popular music, a new role that includes responsibility for co-ordinating the range of popular music output produced across the BBC's platforms.

She continues to serve as controller of U.K. national AC station BBC Radio 2 and digital music service 6 Music, roles she was promoted to in January 2004. In the same year, she was named the U.K. music industry's Woman of the Year.

"The BBC has an ongoing commitment to supporting a breadth of popular music programming," says Douglas in a statement. "We need to ensure that we stay ahead of the game, capitalizing on creative opportunities and working even more closely with the music community as a whole to leverage the full strength of the BBC."

In her new role, Douglas will work alongside Andy Parfitt, controller of Radio 1 and 1Xtra, and Roger Wright, the recently-appointed director of the BBC Proms and controller of Radio 3 and the BBC Performing Groups. Wright also co-ordinates classical music across the BBC.

All three will be "working closely" with Adam Kemp, arts and music commissioner for television; Peter Maniura, head of classical music TV; and Mark Cooper, creative head of TV music entertainment.

"Lesley is doing a superb job at Radio 2 and 6 Music and I'm delighted that she will be taking on this role," comments Jenny Abramsky, director BBC Audio and Music, to whom she reports. "Our aspiration is to gain greater impact for the BBC's investment in popular music across our output. I also want the post to be a central point for external contacts thereby simplifying communications with the BBC."

Under her stewardship, Radio 2 has cemented its standing as Britain's most listened-to station. In the final quarter of 2006, R2 grabbed a 15.8% share of listeners with an audience of 13.26 million, according to RAJAR, the U.K. radio ratings consortium.

In 2005, the station was voted the Sony U.K. Radio Station Of The Year, while 6 Music picked up honors as best radio station at the U.K. 2005 BT Digital Music Awards.

Douglas began her career with the BBC in 1986 as a production assistant.

A year later she joined promotions, working as a promotions assistant. In May 1997 she became managing editor of Radio 2, and in 2000 was appointed Radio 2 head of programs.