Thursday, May 03, 2007

Dream Team

In an industry dominated by corporations, I have never before focused on individuals, but recent moves at the BBC have changed that.

In an extraordinary and totally unimaginable move by the incomparable Ashley Highfield, three of digital media's top execs are moving from the commercial sector to the BBC:

Paul Dale, BSkyB’s director of networked media technology for the last year, leaves to become controller of BBC Future Media & Technology. He had previously helped Sky One, Sky News, Sky Movies, Sky Travel, Sky Games and Sky Media get carriage on new devices and platforms, and has been instrumental in developing British interactive TV.

According to his own profile, at the BBC, he will have: “A dual reporting board role, sitting on the board of both “Future Media and Technology"and “Vision” (Channels). Responsible for the design, creation and delivery of new media content across all digital platforms for all BBC Vision channels.”.

Nice to see Birkspeak isn't dead...

Erik Huggers, a senior director for Microsoft’s entertainment business, becomes controller in charge of overseeing program strategy. He had previously been responsible for strategy on “MSTV, eHome, Zune and more” and had previously been a senior director for the Windows client division. Huggers also has done a lot to get Windows Media adopted by European broadcasters and is reported as being a fan of Narrowstep.

James Cridland, leaves as Virgin Radio’s director of digital media to head up the audio and music team. Cridland had spent the last six years with Virgin, which was the first radio station in Europe to broadcast online, and has led a drive to output on as many digital platforms, including video game platforms and OGG Vorbis. Cridland previously worked for Metro Radio Group and Emap Radio as a copywriter, presenter and internet adviser, and launched Media UK before joining Virgin in 2001.

Wow, quite a team... Nice to know my licence payer's fees are going to pay the (surely) huge salaries of commercial broadcasting bods who can clearly deliver... at the expense of the commercial sector.

I can't believe that companies like BSkyB, Microsoft and Virgin don't take their business seriously enough to keep such talent. But, well done Ashley!

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