Classic FM has appointed Roger Lewis, the worldwide president of
the Decca Record Company, as its new managing director and programme
Lewis replaces Murray Dudgeon, who left in July to return to his old
employer, McCann-Erickson, as the executive vice-president and worldwide
media operations director based in New York. Dudgeon leaves the station
Lewis’s role is a beefed-up version of Dudgeon’s position and will
include a seat on the board of the group which owns Classic, plus 31
local licences and a series of stations abroad. He will report to Ralph
Bernard, the chief executive of the GWR Group.
Before moving to Decca, Lewis held positions at EMI Records, Capital
Radio and became the head of music at BBC Radio 1 in 1987.
’This is a great honour,’ Lewis said. ’Classic FM has become the world’s
largest commercial radio station and a much-loved friend of the British
public in a short time.’
Bernard added: ’Roger combines broadcast management skills with a unique
insight into the classical music industry.’
The announcement of Lewis’s appointment has sparked off a public dispute
between the BBC and Classic, as Lewis was last week tipped to take on
the position of controller of Radio 3 following a lengthy search for a
In a public press wrangle this week, the BBC claimed that Roger Wright -
the BBC’s former head of classical music who took on the Radio 3 job
earlier this week - was the only candidate in the frame, while Classic
claims that Lewis was offered the job and turned it down in favour of
the Classic post.