Sam Jackson has been appointed as BBC Radio 3’s new controller.
The good news for the music industry is that Jackson has been at the heart of the business in recent years. He is making the move to the BBC network from Universal Music Group, where he was most recently executive vice-president of Global Classics & Jazz, managing teams both in London and Berlin.
Jackson will have creative and managerial responsibility for the running of Radio 3 and the delivery of the annual BBC Proms. He started his career as a runner for the BBC Proms, and has worked across broadcasting and the recorded music industry, collaborating with top classical and jazz musicians for nearly 20 years.
As controller, Jackson will set the strategic vision for Radio 3 and the Proms. He begins his role in April and will report into Lorna Clarke, director of music for the BBC.
Sam Jackson, Radio 3’s incoming controller, said: “BBC Radio 3 is unlike any other station: a network delivering ambitious, unique content, with live classical music at its core. This ambition, quality and diversity must stay at the heart of everything Radio 3 and the BBC Proms deliver. I'm thrilled to be tasked with driving both Radio 3 and the Proms forward, with the help of brilliant people across the BBC and the wider music sector."
Lorna Clarke, BBC director of music, said: “I’m delighted that Sam will be joining us as controller of Radio 3, leading the strategy for classical music across the BBC. Sam’s track record in broadcasting, love of classical music and inspirational leadership will be crucial to the BBC’s ongoing commitment to bring great music to everyone.”
For over 15 years, Jackson worked in the commercial radio sector, latterly running three national radio brands: Classic FM, Smooth and Gold. During his time at Classic FM, he was responsible for the station’s entire on-air output, music policy and the popular Classic FM Live concerts.
Jackson is a trustee of the charities Help Musicians and the Young Classical Artists Trust. He has also written and co-written a number of best-selling books on classical music.
He will work alongside David Pickard, director of BBC Proms, and Simon Webb, who was recently announced as the BBC’s first head of orchestras and choirs.
After eight years, Alan Davey will leave his role as BBC Radio 3 controller in March.
PHOTO: Carsten Windhorst