Wednesday, September 22 2010, 15:14 BST
By Andrew Laughlin,
BBC Vision director Jana Bennett has predicted that there will be an "extremely strong field" of candidates for the vacant BBC One controller job, but suggested that BBC Three's Danny Cohen is not in the running.
Last week, Channel 4 poached current BBC One controller Jay Hunt to become its first chief creative officer from January next year.
In a speech to staff yesterday, Bennett paid tribute to Hunt and thanked her for "devoted leadership of a highly creative team" at the BBC's flagship channel, reports The Guardian.
The BBC started advertising for Hunt's replacement this week and Bennett is confident that there will be plenty of interest in the role.
"I've no doubt that we'll have an extremely strong field of candidates for what is arguably the most important channel commissioning job in the UK," she said.
Hot favourite for the role is BBC Three controller Danny Cohen, after he masterminded a resurgence at the digital channel since taking over in May 2007, including viewer numbers being up by 56% among the target 16- to 34-year-old audience.
However, Bennett - who will handle the BBC One controller job until Hunt's replacement can be found - seemed to suggest that Cohen is staying where he is for the moment.
She said: "During the coming year I want to work with Danny to strengthen and deepen the BBC Three news brand and ensure it gets full credit for its serious documentary and current affairs output."
Earlier in the month, Cohen also claimed that he is "definitely staying" at BBC Three to further build on the channel's success.
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