Sam Jackson has today been announced as the new Controller of BBC Radio 3.

Jackson, currently Executive Vice President, Global Classics and Jazz, at Universal Music Group, will take up the role in April 2023.

For over 15 years, Sam worked in the commercial radio sector, latterly running three national radio brands: Classic FM, Smooth and Gold. During his time at Classic FM he was responsible for the station’s entire on-air output, music policy and the popular Classic FM Live concerts.

Music education has been important to Sam throughout his career. Alongside his work at Classic FM he was also a presenter on digital station Fun Kids from 2006 to 2011. He was a member of The Music Commission – a year-long inquiry into supporting and sustaining musical progression for all – and is a Board Member of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance. In addition he is a trustee of the charities Help Musicians and the Young Classical Artists Trust. He has also written and co-written a number of best-selling books on classical music as well as a parenting book, Diary of a Desperate Dad.

On his new appointment, Sam Jackson says: ‘BBC Radio 3 is unlike any other station: a network delivering ambitious, unique content, with live classical music at its core. This ambition, quality and diversity must stay at the heart of everything Radio 3 and the BBC Proms deliver. I'm thrilled to be tasked with driving both Radio 3 and the Proms forward, with the help of brilliant people across the BBC and the wider music sector.’

Lorna Clarke, BBC Director of Music, says: ‘I’m delighted that Sam will be joining us as Controller of Radio 3, leading the strategy for classical music across the BBC. Sam’s track record in broadcasting, love of classical music and inspirational leadership will be crucial to the BBC’s ongoing commitment to bring great music to everyone.’

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Jackson will succeed Alan Davey, former Radio 3 Controller, who steps down this March after eight years in the role.

Photo: Carsten Windhorst


Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.