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30/03/2004

Jane Root to leave BBC to join Discovery

BBC Two Controller Jane Root is to leave the corporation to join Discovery Networks as executive vice president and general manager of the Discovery Channel in the US.
Announcing her appointment, Ms Root said: "It's been the worst kept secret in the whole of British television, but I can finally confirm that I am leaving BBC Two for Discovery.
"It was a hard decision to make, leaving the BBC and BBC Two in particular will be difficult. BBC Two is a very hard channel to say goodbye to: it's got such a strong personality, and so many brilliant people contribute to it. I've completely loved the past five years.
"But Discovery is also a great place, and a special partner to the BBC, so I am really excited about the challenges ahead."
Jana Bennett, BBC Director of Television, said: "Jane is an exceptional creative talent who has inspired programme makers - both in house and independent - to deliver bigger and better ideas for the audience.
"From ‘The Office’ to ‘Great Britons’ Jane's energy and passionate commitment to backing the best talent and developing the most ambitious programmes are very much in evidence on the screen.
"And, with programmes like ‘Restoration’ and ‘The Big Read’, she also pushed for them to have a life beyond the screen and took them out into communities across the UK.
"Jane's contribution to BBC Two, steering it to two Channel of the Year awards, and to BBC Television as a whole has been enormous and I warmly wish her well in her new role at Discovery.
"However, I don't feel that this is really a departure. Although she won't be with us in the UK, her presence in Washington will strengthen the thriving partnership between the BBC and Discovery in the US. We look forward to continuing to work with her in the future."
Mark Byford, Acting Director General BBC, added: "Jane Root has been an outstanding creative leader of BBC TWO spearheading a wide range of outstanding landmark programmes and events and original work across drama, factual, comedy, current affairs and music.
"We all wish her well with her new job and thank her for her brilliant contribution while here at the BBC."
Jane will leave the BBC mid-May. Her position as Controller of BBC Two will be advertised immediately.
(GB)
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