Mark Strippel, formerly Head of Programmes at BBC Asian Network, has been made the joint Head of Programmes for Radio 1Xtra and BBC Asian Network. The change took place some time in June 2017, and was not announced publicly by the BBC. This information was only brought to light after made inquiries regarding the changes.

Strippel replaces Rhys Hughes as head of 1Xtra. Hughes was previously the joint Head of Programmes for Radio 1 and 1Xtra, a role which no longer exists. The BBC has confirmed that the new role of joint Head of Programmes for Asian Network and 1Xtra is permanent.

A BBC spokesperson said, “Mark Strippel was previously the Head of Programmes for Asian Network. In addition to this role, Mark has now formally taken on the responsibility of Radio 1Xtra’s programmes where he now leads on the overall strategy and output for both stations.”

The BBC declined to name the individuals reporting to Strippel who have exclusive responsibility for each of the stations, stating only that “Mark Strippel has a team of people who report into him”. It is therefore unclear how far the merger of Asian Network and 1Xtra management actually goes.

The BBC also declined to answer’s direct question as to whether the changes are a precursor to merging the two stations.