Swain becomes latest BBC exit

Long-serving BBC executive Emma Swain is the latest high-profile programming executive to exit the UK pubcaster.

Emma SwainSwain (pictured) has been with the BBC for 20 years. She was most recently controller of factual commissioning until being seconded to an internal role as BBC Television director of future commissioning, channels and online.

This future-gazing post saw her looking at how the BBC could become a more digital-first structure and evolve its commissioning processes as it negotiates terms of its charter renewal with the British government.

Joining the BBC in 1996, she had been controller of factual commissioning for five years until 2015. She was responsible to greenlighting programmes such as Lambing Live, Our War and The Great British Bake Off.

Swain’s departure follows those of BBC Two controller Kim Shillinglaw and BBC Studios boss Peter Salmon, both of whom have moved to Endemol Shine Group. Danny Cohen left his role as director of television last year, and has since emerged as president of Access Entertainment.

Janice Hadlow, Alan Yentob and Katie Taylor have also exited the Corporation in recent months.

Alison Kirkham, the BBC’s controller of formats, features and events, has been overseeing Swain’s duties since Swain took her new role in April 2015.

BBC director of content and sport Charlotte Moore said Swain was “a rare combination of skills and talents, with the ability to always see the bigger picture, think strategically and recognise the creative potential in an idea”.

In July, Moore was promoted to her current role, having previously been controller of TV channels and iPlayer. At the same time, Anne Bulford was named as the BBC’s first female deputy director general.

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