BBC Worldwide is losing the president of its fast-growing U.S. operation, Garth Ancier. No news on his next role, but he’s staying on as a non-exec director.
Deadline Hollywood has Ancier’s exit memo to staff, in which he says: “Next year, our digital story will get even stronger with the launch of a U.S. facing edition of BBC.com.
BBCWW had said in July it wanted to start “localising the site for different audiences”. A spokesperson told paidContent:UK it will involve localising both BBC.com and the BBC News site, mainly about about reordering the news stories a U.S. visitor would see on the site.
BBC.com is the international-facing counterpart to the UK’s licence fee-funded BBC.co.uk and has carried ads since November 2007, with the U.S. the key focus for the sales operation. But, after staffing up on ad sales since then, the economy has hit the site. BBCWW’s July annual report said: “The growth of bbc.com, which we launched in 2007, has been affected by the advertising downturn in the U.S.”. Income from ads hit £10.2 million ($16.9 million) in their first year, but BBC.com final losses doubled to £12 million ($19.9 million), on investment.
The BBC America channel grew sales 39 percent last year after ramping up on the popularity of shows like Top Gear and Torchwood, and the corporation has been building a higher profile for the BBC World News channel, which now has a BBC World News America show.