New BBC Radio 2 boss announced

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The BBC have announced the appointment of Bob Shennan as controller for BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music. Shennan was previously controller at news and sports station BBC Radio Five Live and head of Channel 4's abortive 4 Digital Group radio venture. Channel 4 had won a licence to launch three digital radio stations but dropped the plans at an advanced stage in the face of the economic downturn.

At Five Live Shennan increased listening figures to 7 million. Critics claimed that this was achieved through the introduction of phone-in shows and a decline in coverage of harder news. He also launched the part-time digital-only station BBC Radio Five Live Sports Extra.

The BBC's director of Audio and Music told The Stage that Shennan is "an outstanding leader with extensive radio experience and a proven track record in station management". He said that "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".

Radio 2 is Britain's most popular radio station with 13.06 million listeners and a 16% share. 6 Music is the network's digital-only sister station. The post of controller became vacant last year when Lesley Douglas resigned following the scandal over crude phone calls made by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross to actor Andrew Sachs during a pre-recorded music programme.