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BBC names new Director of Sport from The Athletic

The BBC has named Alex Kay-Jelski as its new Director of Sport, replacing Barbara Slater, who’s retiring after 40 years.

Kay-Jelski is currently Editor-in-Chief of The Athletic, setting up the international arm of the publication in 2019. This helped the company pass 1m subscribers a year later. It was acquired by the New York Times in 2022.

Prior to this he was Sports Editor at The Times and Sports Editor at Daily Mail.

“I am so excited to be joining BBC Sport in the summer and to have the chance to work with so many incredible people,” he said.

“Like most people, so many of my sporting memories have been lived with the BBC there to guide me through and having the chance to shape what that should look like in the coming years is a brilliant challenge. I am emotional leaving The Athletic and all the wonderful people there. It means so much to me and I’m incredibly proud of all of them.”

BBC Sport is based at MediaCity and Kay-Jelski will report directly to Charlotte Moore, BBC’s Chief Content Officer.

“Alex is a dynamic and creative editorial leader who has a clear vision about how to take BBC Sport into the future. He joins us from the highly respected digital sports subscription service The Athletic, where he has been responsible for developing and growing the brand from scratch in the UK to become a leading force in the industry, and overseeing phenomenal growth,” said Moore.

“Alex has always embraced innovation. His editorial judgement and expert knowledge is impressive and he brings with him a wealth of experience in telling stories and delivering sports content to audiences in a digital world. Barbara Slater leaves BBC Sport in rude health with an incredible summer of sport ahead, and I’m looking forward to Alex leading us for the next generation of unrivalled sports broadcasting.”

In the role he’ll set the editorial and creative strategy for BBC Sport and lead its teams across commissioning, production, digital and journalism. He’ll also represent the BBC with external bodies and rights holders, and be responsible for rights acquisition deals across TV, Audio and Online .

He will start in the role in June.

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