Sam Bickley Appointed Acting BBC Three Boss

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The BBC has appointed Sam Bickley as the new interim boss of youth-skewing BBC Three.

Bickley, who has been appointed as Acting Channel Editor of BBC Three, joined the BBC in 2010 and has been responsible for commissioning across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Three. She is currently Head of Commissioning for Documentaries and Features for BBC Three and joint Head of BBC One Documentaries.

Her appointment comes at a key time for BBC Three, which is set to shut down as a traditional broadcaster to become an online channel in 2015 – subject to statutory approval. In a crowded online market, BBC Three will be required to commission high end programmes that can breakthrough on their own. She will succeed Zai Bennett, who is departing the corporation next month to become Director of Sky Atlantic.

“I have worked on BBC Three for many years, watching this innovative channel grow”, said Sam Bickley. “Zai and the team have built a vibrant, exciting and diverse BBC Three with amazing reach and I feel privileged to be asked to follow in his footsteps. I will continue to navigate Three through the year ahead with some amazing new shows to come.”

While Danny Cohen, the BBC’s Director of Television, added: “Sam has a deep understanding of the BBC Three audience and a passion for reaching young viewers. This period running the BBC Three television service will allow her to put all of this skill and experience to powerful use.”