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17/12/2010

New BBC Three Controller Announced

Zai Bennett, the director of ITV's digital channels and acquisitions, has been named the new controller of BBC Three.
The 36-year-old replaces the outgoing Danny Cohen, who was appointed the new controller of BBC One in October.
Controller of ITV2 from 2006-9, Bennett took on responsibility for ITV's other digital channels in April.
He said he was "delighted" to join BBC Three, adding the channel was "on fire at the moment".
The Director of BBC Vision Jana Bennett called him one of the "most energetic and creative leaders working in television today".
"His experience in developing original scripted drama and comedy, along with his fantastic relationship with presenters and performers, makes Zai perfect for this role," she added.
Mr Bennett will inherit a channel that had an £88m budget in the year to the end of March.
However, BBC3's budget is likely to be cut next year as the BBC embarks on a new round of belt tightening in the wake of October's licence fee settlement as with the licence fee frozen for six years, the BBC is facing a 16% cut in funding in real terms.
He started his TV career in the post room at Carlton Television in 1995, occasionally delivering David Cameron's mail to him when the current Prime Minister worked as the ITV broadcaster's Communications Director.
Mr Bennett was presentation scheduler for the launch of Channel 5 in 1997, before joining ITV the following year.
(BMcC)
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