BBC television head to step down

Danny Cohen, the BBC's director of television, is next month leaving the UK pubcaster after eight years to pursue a "new leadership challenge."
October 13, 2015

Danny Cohen, the BBC’s director of television, is leaving the UK pubcaster to pursue a “new leadership challenge.”

“After eight wonderful years at the BBC, it is time for my next big challenge,” the exec wrote in a statement, adding that he has been approached about “a number of exciting opportunities” and wants to consider them in an open and transparent way.

Cohen will leave the BBC at the end of November, with Mark Linsey - controller of entertainment commissioning - taking on the exec’s duties in the interim.

From 2007 to 2010, Cohen served as controller for BBC3, commissioning such titles as Being Human, Our War and Blood Sweat And Takeaways. Under the exec’s purview, programming on BBC Television was watched by 92% of the UK population in 2014.

Prior to joining the BBC, Cohen was head of E4, and before that, he was head of documentaries at Channel 4, with commissions including Skins, The Inbetweeners, Fonejacker, Supernanny and the documentary strand ‘Cutting Edge.’

Tony Hall, director general at the BBC, called Cohen one of TV’s “greatest talents,” and commended his strong drama commissions for the pubcaster, in addition to such comedy and entertainment titles as Strictly Come Dancing and Peter Kay’s Car Share.

“Danny has done an extraordinary job over the last eight years at the BBC,” he said in a statement. “In a world of intense competition and choice, he has further enhanced the BBC’s reputation for quality programming that is full of ambition and creativity.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.