Barbara Slater announced her retirement from the role last year

Alex Kay-Jelski BBC Sport

The BBC has named The Athletic editor Alex Kay-Jelski as its next director of sport, starting in June. 

The role is currently held on an interim basis by Philip Bernie, after Barbara Slater announced her retirement in September last year. Slater had been director of sport for 14 years, and worked at the BBC for four decades.

Kay-Jelski joined The Athletic in 2019, setting up its international arm and helping it to over one million subscribers. With the BBC he will be responsible for setting the editorial and creative strategy for BBC Sport, and lead the commissioning, production, digital and journalism teams with the aim of further digital growth. He will also represent the BBC with external bodies and rights holders, and be responsible for rights acquisition deals across TV, audio and online - as well as champion the reach and public value of sport across the UK.

Prior to joining The Athletic, Kay-Jelski had been sport editor at The Times from 2015-2019, and before that sport editor at the Daily Mail - a position he rose to after joining as a sub-editor in 2007.

Kay-Jelski will report to chief content officer Charlotte Moore, who said of his appointment: “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 highly respected digital sports subscription service 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 judgement and expert knowledge is 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 unrivalled sports broadcasting.”

Kay-Jelski added: “I am so excited to be joining BBC Sport in the summer and to have the chance to work with so many incredible people. Like most people, so many of my sporting memories have been lived with the BBC there to guide me through and having the chance to shape what that should look like in the coming years is a brilliant challenge. I am emotional leaving The Athletic and all the wonderful people there. It means so much to me and I’m incredibly proud of all of them.”