BBC Sport stunned as Sloane quits

Niall Sloane, BBC Sport’s head of football and Formula 1, has quit the Corporation less than a week after presiding over the BBC’s launch of its F1 coverage and just days after Barabra Slater was named as Head of Sport, a role Sloane had been tipped for.

Sloane is believed to be a candidate for the vacant ITV controller of sport job. Sloane, a former footballer with Sheffield Wednesday, used to work closely with former BBC Head of Sport Brian Barwick, who also moved to ITV Sport before he went on to become the FA’s chief executive.

“He is leaving to take on new challenges,” a BBC spokesman was quoted by The Guardian. “He is very happy Barbara got the job and wishes her all the best for the future.”

Sloane joined BBC Sport in 1982, spending six years as an assistant producer. Following a further six years as assistant editor for Sportsnight and Match Of The Day, he became editor of Match Of The Day in 1995 before moving to his current role in 2000.

Sloane will stay on for the first two races of the 2009 F1 season before departing in mid-April. Ben Gallop, current head of the BBC sport website, will take responsibility for F1 coverage.

Head of TV sport editorial Philip Bernie will take over the football brief.

In an email to BBC staff sent by Roger Mosey, the outgoing head of sport, Sloane said: “I have been extremely proud to work for BBC Sport with a lot of hugely talented individuals over the years. It’s been a privilege to work at the world’s great sporting events. I have enjoyed working with Roger over the last three years and am sure he will make the Olympics a resounding success. I would also like to wish Barbara and her team continued success.”

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