BBC loses another 'big hitter' as head of sport stands down

The BBC is to lose a second big hitter to the independent sector with the departure of the director of sport from the corporation.

The BBC is to lose a second big hitter to the independent sector with the departure of the director of sport from the corporation.

Peter Salmon, a former BBC1 controller, is quitting his post at the BBC to head the Television Corporation, the company behind Question Time and Channel 4 cricket and one of the top 10 independent production companies in the UK.

His move follows the departure of Lorraine Heggessey, his successor as controller of BBC1, who announced her departure in February to become chief executive of the leading indie Talkback Thames.

Friends of Mr Salmon said that the BBC executive felt that he had achieved everything he wanted to do at BBC Sport.

One source said: "BBC Sport is in a great place and it is time for him to go on to another adventure."

As director of sport, Mr Salmon is credited with having reinvigorated the BBC's output. When he took over the department in 2000, it was flagging, having lost the Premiership highlights and Formula One racing to ITV and Test match cricket to Channel 4.

By last year, he had restored BBC Sport to its element, masterminding the coverage of the Athens Olympics as well as winning back Match of the Day and the rights to the Rugby Union Six Nations Championship. One blot on the horizon in 2004 was losing the boat race to ITV.

Dave Gordon, head of major events at BBC Sport, and BBC's head of football Niall Sloane are two of the names tipped to take over from Mr Salmon.

Over the past year, Mr Salmon has also been one of the main architects of the BBC's plans to move a significant chunk of production and commissioning capability out of London and to establish a second base for the broadcaster in Manchester.

Sport is one of the departments earmarked for the move, which is still in the planning stages. Pat Loughrey, the BBC's director of nations and regions, who worked alongside Mr Salmon on the project, will now take on responsibility for the move.

During Mr Salmon's tenure as controller of BBC1, the channel came in for criticism for relying too heavily on makeover shows such as Changing Rooms and Ground Force, which have now been dropped. It was widely acknowledged at the time, however, that the channel was suffering from under-funding. In spite of these difficulties, Mr Salmon enjoyed successes such as Walking With Dinosaurs and the drama series Clocking Off.

Brain drain

Lorraine Heggessey

Mr Salmon's successor at BBC1 announced in February that she was quitting to head Talkback Thames, which makes shows such as Da Ali G Show and The Bill.

Carolyn Fairburn

One of the main architects of Freeview, Ms Fairburn quit as director of BBC Strategy in October 2004 to go travelling.

Mal Young

The BBC controller in charge of Eastenders, Holby City and Casualty quit in September to join Simon Fuller's 19 TV, the company behind Pop Idol.

Andy Duncan

The former BBC marketing chief left in July 2004 to become chief executive of Channel 4.

Jane Root

The BBC2 controller said in March 2004 that she was leaving to become head of Discovery Networks.

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
Life and Style
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
John Terry, Frank Lampard
footballChelsea captain sends signed shirt to fan whose mum had died
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Semi Senior Accountant - Music

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A successful, Central London bas...

Sales Director, Media Sponsorship

£60000 - £65000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A globally successful media and ...

Head of Affiliate Sales for Emerging Markets

competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you looking for your next role ...

Brand Engagement Manager - TV

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is your chance to join a gl...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits