Former Radio 2 chief to join Universal Music
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Lesley Douglas, the former controller of BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music who resigned amid the row over Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, is moving to Universal Music UK in a senior programming role.
Ms Douglas has spent her entire career in broadcasting at the BBC. In the 1980s she became a producer in Radio 2’s music department working on programmes such as the Gloria Hunniford and Ken Bruce shows and Brian Matthew’s Round Midnight.
She was appointed controller of both Radio 2 and 6 Music in 2003, succeeding James Moir. Her role was expanded last year when she was appointed the BBC’s first controller of popular music. Her responsibilities included co-ordinating popular music output across several BBC platforms.
In her new role Ms Douglas will become director of programming and business development at the Vivendi-owned music company, whose artists include Amy Winehouse and U2.
Douglas will join Lucian Grainge, the chairman and chief executive of Universal Music Group International, who oversees the record company’s business outside of America.
Universal had a 33.5 per cent share of the UK music market in the first half of 2008.
Her resignation from the BBC followed the furore over the lewd messages left on the answer machine of Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs by Mr Ross and Mr Brand during Mr Brand’s Radio 2 show.
The uproar led to the resignation of Mr Brand and Dave Barber, the head of specialist music and compliance at Radio 2, and the suspension for 12 weeks of Mr Ross, the BBC’s highest-paid entertainer.
A BBC investigation found that Ms Douglas had approved the pre-recorded Jonathan Ross show for broadcast on Mr Brand’s late-night Saturday show. But she had not listened to the programme, the report said.
Since her promotion to Radio 2 controller the station was voted the Sony UK Radio Station Of The Year in 2005 and station of the year at the Music Week awards in 2006 and 2007.
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