Barbara Slater has today (September 6) announced she will be retiring next year as director of sport for UK public-service broadcaster the BBC.
In the week of her 40th anniversary with the corporation, Slater revealed she will be stepping down in the first half of 2024.
She became the BBC’s first female head of sport after being appointed to the role in 2009, to replace Roger Mosey.
Before taking up the position 14 years ago, Slater, a former international and Olympic gymnast, served as the BBC's head of sport production and head of general sports.
She joined the BBC in 1983 and has worked on a range of major sports events, including the Olympics, soccer’s FIFA World Cup and European Championships, Wimbledon tennis, rugby union’s Six Nations, horse racing’s Royal Ascot meeting, and golf’s British Open.
In recent years, Slater was responsible for reclaiming rights to English soccer’s FA Cup and to international cricket.
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The broadcaster said Slater has “future-proofed live sport on the BBC with a long-term rights legacy in place.”
She will leave the BBC with major rights deals agreed with Wimbledon up to and including 2027, the UEFA European Championships in 2028, the Olympics up to 2032, and the UEFA Champions League elite club competition.
For the first time ever, Champions League highlights will be shown by the BBC after it agreed a deal in June 2022.
Tim Davie, BBC director general, said: “Barbara has had an extraordinary career at the BBC – a pioneer, innovator, and outstanding leader – she has kept the BBC at the forefront of sport for a generation. She will leave the BBC with a tremendous legacy.”
Charlotte Moore, BBC chief content officer, added: “Barbara has tirelessly driven BBC Sport forward in the face of an ever-competitive landscape. She is a passionate advocate of listed events and free-to-air sport and her commitment to increasing the profile of women’s sport in this country has been unrelenting.
“Barbara leaves BBC Sport in fantastic health with major rights deals agreed and a bold strategy in place.”