The British Broadcasting Corporation is to welcome prodigal daughter Jana Bennett back into its fold as director of BBC Television. She takes up her post in April, replacing Mark Thompson who left in December to become chief executive of Channel 4.

Bennet, a former BBC director of production, quit thirty months ago to become general manager of Discovery in the US, where she is credited with the successful development of its subsidiary, The Learning Channel.

Highly regarded at the BBC for her work on science and factual productions such as Walking with Dinosaurs, Meet the Ancestors, Back to the Floor and The Human Body, Bennett will be responsible for BBC1, BBC2, digital channels BBC4 Four, BBC Choice and the UKTV joint venture channels. Content for international channels BBC America, BBC Canada and BBC Prime also falls within her remit.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for the BBC with the reinvigoration of BBC One and BBC Two, the launch of the new channels and the challenge to keep raising the creative benchmark,” enthused Bennett.

Interpolated BBC director general Greg Dyke, not to be outdone in the eulogy stakes: “Jana's experience and success over the last two-and-a-half years, running a channel in the American multichannel market, gives her an invaluable perspective.”

News source: BrandRepublic (UK)