BSkyB cries Woolfe

Programmer tops Sky One

Satcaster BSkyB has hired Richard Woolfe, one of Blighty’s most highly regarded programmers from the multichannel sector, as head of its struggling flagship channel Sky One.

Woolfe, who replaces James Baker as director of programs for Sky One, made his mark at Flextech, where he was Living TV’s director of television.

Woolfe helped put Living onto the multichannel map by masterminding shrewd purchases of U.S. fare like “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and homegrown shows such as “Most Haunted.”

BSkyB has seen audiences for Sky One decline with the emergence of more competition and the spread of digital terrestrial platform Freeview.

Dawn Airey, managing director of Sky Networks, said of Woolfe: “His achievements at Living TV are widely recognized and I have no doubt he will work his magic at Sky.”

Woolfe said: “This is the job I have most wanted to do — to continue to build upon the strength of Sky One whilst driving viewership. It is the ultimate challenge in the multichannel world.”

Woolfe, voted industry player of the year at last August’s Edinburgh TV gabfest, begins his new job in April.

Separately, another ITV commissioning editor, daytime chief Nick Thorogood, has ankled.

He is the third program topper to leave ITV in as many weeks as new director of TV Simon Shaps reforms his commissioning team.

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