UK presenter Suzy Klein has been appointed head of arts & classical music programming for the BBC, following an overhaul of the broadcaster’s operations earlier this year.
Klein will focus on shows for the BBC’s linear channels, its streaming service iPlayer and other digital offerings, but she will also work with the broadcaster’s radio and its Sounds app on content.
She will report to Patrick Holland, who started in his new role as director of factual, arts & classical music in April following a major restructuring of the BBC’s arts and music commissioning division.
Those changes saw Jonty Claypole, director of BBC Arts, leave the organisation, while music commissioning chief Jan Younghusband and Lamia Dabboussy, who has been acting as head of arts & classical music since April, are also departing later this year.
A new TV commissioning editor, whose remit will include classical music, will be appointed by Klein. BBC Radio 3 controller Alan Davey continues to oversee classical music, including the commissioning of new music, and he will work with Holland and Klein on pan-BBC content.
Klein has been at the BBC for 25 years and before that worked for Canada’s pubcaster CBC. From October, she will move aside from presenting to focus on her new role.
“If my appointment represents something, it is a long-term commitment to the transformative power, inspiration and joy that the arts bring,” she said. “That’s something I can’t wait to share with my brilliant commissioning team, as we work together to create the most compelling, unmissable programmes for audiences across the UK.”
Holland added: “Suzy combines deep subject knowledge with a proselytising passion for great arts and classical music broadcasting. Her vision for the future development of the genres on television and iPlayer made her the stand-out candidate for this most important of roles.”
Earlier this week, the BBC unveiled a raft of new shows from the arts and music division, as part of its pledge to double investment in the genres.