Wakeling retires from Sky Sports

By Julian Clover

Vic Wakeling, Sky’s managing director, Sport and News is to retire at the end of June after 20 years with the broadcaster and 15 years as head of Sky Sports.

Barney Francis will take over the role of managing director, Sky Sports, reporting to Sky’s Chief Executive, Jeremy Darroch. Francis was executive producer of Sky’s cricket coverage for six years and has also worked on FA Premier League and UEFA Champions League coverage.

Sophie Turner-Laing will assume responsibility for Sky News, as managing director, Entertainment and News. John Ryley, Head of Sky News, will now report to Turner-Laing.

“Over two decades, Vic Wakeling has played a tremendous part in Sky’s story and has made a huge contribution to sports broadcasting, said Sky chief executive Jeremy Darroch. “Vic has brought a wealth of new coverage to viewers, led a healthy investment in British sport and helped to change the way we view our favourite sports. We owe him a debt of gratitude and he will leave Sky as a valued colleague and friend.”

Since Wakeling was appointed Head of Sport in 1994 the Sky Sports portfolio has grown from a single channel to a network of five dedicated sports channels and three HD channels. He joined Sky Sports at its launch in 1991 and made head of football at the start of the first FA Premier League contract in 1992.

Wakeling will continue as a consultant to the Sky Sports network.