The BBC, the UK public-service broadcaster, has appointed Alex Kay-Jelski as its new director of sport to replace the departing Barbara Slater.

Slater announced in September that she would be retiring after 14 years in the role.

Kay-Jelski will lead the BBC Sport teams and will report to Charlotte Moore, the broadcaster’s chief content officer.

He will represent the BBC with external bodies and rights-holders, and be responsible for rights acquisition deals across TV, audio, and online.

As director, he will set the editorial and creative strategy for BBC Sport. He will lead the teams – across commissioning, production, digital, and journalism – and “work closely with talent and partners to help drive the growth of sport across the BBC’s digital services.”

Kay-Jelski will join the BBC in June from The Athletic where he is editor in chief, and at which publication he set up the international arm in 2019. Prior to that, he was the sports editor at the Times newspaper from 2015 to 1019 and sports editor at the Daily Mail before that.

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He will take up his new role in a busy period where the BBC will be showing the UEFA Euro 2024 national teams soccer competition (June 14 to July 14) and then the Olympics in Paris (July 26 to August 11).

Moore said: “Alex is a dynamic and creative editorial leader who has a clear vision about how to take BBC Sport into the future. He joins us from The Athletic, where he has been responsible for developing and growing the brand from scratch in the UK to become a leading force in the industry and overseeing phenomenal growth. Alex has always embraced innovation.

“His editorial judgment and expert knowledge are impressive and he brings with him a wealth of experience in telling stories and delivering sports content to audiences in a digital world. Barbara Slater leaves BBC Sport in rude health with an incredible summer of sport ahead, and I’m looking forward to Alex leading us for the next generation of unrivaled sports broadcasting.”

Slater became the BBC’s first female head of sport after being appointed in 2009, to replace Roger Mosey.

She will leave the BBC with major rights deals agreed with Wimbledon through 2027, the UEFA Euros in 2028, the Olympics up to 2032, and the UEFA Champions League elite club competition.

For the first time, Champions League highlights will be shown by the BBC after it agreed a deal in June 2022.

The BBC also holds rights to English soccer’s FA Cup competition until the end of the 2024-25 season.

TNT Sports, the UK pay-TV heavyweight owned by media giant Warner Bros. Discovery, recently acquired rights to the FA Cup from the 2025-26 season and has reportedly agreed a sub-license deal with the BBC.

Slater told MPs in November that it is becoming increasingly difficult for it to retain the rights to major sporting events, including rugby union’s Six Nations. Its deal for the competition, which it shares with commercial broadcaster ITV, runs through 2025.