As BizAsia reported earlier this year, Mark Strippel has officially been named as Head of Programmes at the BBC Asian Network. The move follows the recent departures of Station Head Vijay Sharma and previous Head of Programmes Husain Husaini.
Former Head of Music Mark Strippel had been acting Head of Programmes since May and was officially appointed last month. He continues to lead the editorial strategy of the station and will work directly to Bob Shennan, Controller Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network. His immediate priorities will be to lead the station through a significant restructure involving basing the station at two primary locations in London and Birmingham and introducing changes to the schedule.
Mark Strippel joined the BBC in 2002 as a broadcaster with 1Xtra and joined the management team of Asian Network in 2006. He brings more than 20 years media experience to the role, especially specialist South-Asian media including spells with Universal Music, CD Guru, Yaara, Panjabi Hit Squad, Eastern Eye, Movie Magazine and community broadcasters Panjab Radio, Westside Radio and Desi Radio.
During his time as Head of Music, Mark successfully implemented a major revamp of station music policy, launching a new specialist line-up including the Sony Award-Winning Friction show, and introduced new talents including Noreen Khan. Mark is responsible for introducing London Mela and UK Asian Music Awards to the station events schedule and commissioning live music output including recent Red Button TV exclusives with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Kailash Kher.
He is joined by three new Editors. Neila Butt is Editor, Music & Events with Inderpreet Sahota Editor, Birmingham and Khaliq Meer Editor, London managing programmes in the Mailbox and New Broadcasting House respectively. All three have previously been Assistant Editors on the Network.
Neila Butt started her radio career at Radio XL before joining the Asian Network in 2001, including a period as Assistant Editor of the Sonia Deol and Noreen Khan programmes. Neila had been Acting Head of Music since May. Khaliq Meer has worked for the BBC intermittently for almost 20 years and recently led the station۪s Shah Rukh Khan and IIFA coverage. He joined the Asian Network in 2006 as Assistant Editor for Specialist Music programmes. Inderpreet Sahota started at the BBC in 2000 as a journalist for BBC News Online and joined Asian Network in 2005 as Senior Producer of Language programmes, launching the Gagan Grewal programme. She has been Assistant Editor of Tommy Sandhu, Specialist Music and the Love Bollywood programme.
Kevin Silverton continues as Head of News and is leading the relocation of the Asian Network News operation to New Broadcasting House. Former Senior Broadcast Journalist Osma Mayher has been appointed Deputy Head of News. Osma has been at the Asian Network for more than 10 years during which time she has worked as a reporter, sports specialist and editor in the Leicester-based newsroom. She will be instrumental in moving the Asian Network news operation into the new BBC news centre at New Broadcasting House in London.
Bob Shennan, Controller Radio 2, 6 Music and Asian Network said, “The appointment of Mark and his new team is key in building on the huge growth and success of the network. Their knowledge and expertise of British Asian culture and music will ensure that the station remains fundamental to the lives of its listeners and continues to reflect and champion the music and issues that are important to those communities.
Mark Strippel added, “I۪m honoured to have been asked to lead the BBC Asian Network and continue to reinforce our relevance, distinctiveness and connection with communities right across the UK. We have incredibly ambitious plans in place for 2013 and I۪m looking forward to leading the station through a transformational future.
Under Mark۪s leadership, in Q1 and Q2 the station delivered two successive record RAJAR performances and now sits at 547k. The station has just enjoyed a busy summer commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Asian migration from Uganda, a summer of Melas and a celebration of global Asian icons that saw Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan turn DJ to present his own show; Pakistani cricketer Shahid Afridi meet his British fans and comedy sensation Meera Syal trace the story of British Asian comedy in a special radio series.