BBC Director of Music receives Honorary Doctorate from Buckinghamshire New University
PUBLISHED: 14:59 19 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:59 19 September 2014
The BBC's Director of Music, Bob Shennan, who is also Controller of Radio 2, 6 Music, and Asian Network, has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Buckinghamshire New University in recognition of his role as one of the most significant controllers of BBC Radio in recent years, and having been at the top of music, news and sports programming and broadcasting.
Bob, who lives in Amersham Road, High Wycombe, was amongst a distinguished gathering of individuals being honoured at Bucks New University’s graduation ceremonies held at the Wycombe Swan Theatre.
Bob, who is responsible for driving the music strategy across the BBC, delivering a step change in music output across TV, Radio and online, is a regular visitor to and supporter of the University.
He said of his honorary award: “I am a northerner by birth, but have spent my working life in and around London. High Wycombe is my adoptive home and so I feel especially honoured and humbled to receive this award from Bucks New University.”
Having been educated at the Royal Grammar School in Lancaster, Bob graduated from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, with a degree in English Literature. In 1987 he joined the BBC and progressed to a variety of senior roles in BBC Sport including the position of Head of BBC Sport from 1998 to 2000. In this role he was responsible for overseeing all sport on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC News 24, BBC national and local radio and the BBC’s sport online.
In August 2000 Bob was appointed Controller of Radio 5 Live, and in September 2002, he launched 5 Live Sports Extra as Controller. Under his leadership, 5 Live reached a record audience in 2002 of just under 7 million listeners.
Bob was given overall managerial responsibility for BBC Asian Network in 2004, before leaving the BBC for a year in 2007 to lead Channel Four Radio. Bob was then appointed Controller, Radio 2 and 6 Music in January 2009.
Later that year it was Bob who led Radio 2 through the high profile transition of Terry Wogan’s departure from Wake Up To Wogan after 17 years, to the launch of The Chris Evans Breakfast Show in 2010. In August 2011 he also re-assumed managerial responsibility for the Asian Network, and was appointed Director of Music in March this year.
Beyond his BBC role, Bob is an international board member of the Country Music Association (CMA) based in Nashville, and a Trustee of BBC Children in Need.
Professor Ruth Farwell, Vice Chancellor of Bucks New University, said: “We are delighted that Bob Shennan has accepted our invitation to be associated with us in this way. We choose our honorary awardees in recognition of their outstanding achievements in their particular fields, and I am sure that he will be an inspiration to the graduating students and to those that will come after them.”