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BBC Four controller role axed

The BBC’s director of television Danny Cohen has scrapped the BBC Four controller that Richard Klein occupied before exiting for ITV.

Janice HadlowSpeculation Cohen would axe the role has been mounting since Klein’s departure in May and the BBC today confirmed BBC Two controller Janice Hadlow (left) would take control of arts and culture-skewed Four.

A new role of BBC Four channel editor has also been created, the occupant of which will report into Hadlow. This role will “ensure that the channel continues to grow its own distinctive tone, character and output, as well as providing day-to-day management of the channel and its commissioning”, according to Cohen, the former BBC One controller that was upped to his current position earlier this year.

Four’s future has been under intense scrutiny, having been among the worst hit by the BBC’s long term cost-saving initiative Delivery Quality First.

Former boss Klein left to become director of factual at BBC rival ITV in May, triggering new speculation Cohen would seek to reshape its management structure.

“I’m keen for BBC Two and BBC Four to collaborate more across their programmes, scheduling, marketing and digital innovation. Janice has made real progress in these areas and I want to build on these foundations,” added Cohen.

The news comes after Charlotte Moore was hand the BBC One controller role following Cohen’s promotion to oversee all BBC channels and production.