More On BBC Restructuring; New Future Media and Technology Division


As Rafat wrote earlier, BBC Director-General Mark Thompson announced the details today of the anticipated reorganization designed to make the “Creative Future” content strategy a reality.
As described in the release, the changes are meant to enable 360-degree commissioning and production while providing creative coherence and editorial leadership across all platforms and media.
Among the changes (all are expected to be in place by April 2007):
Ashley Highfield will lead the new Future Media and Technology division. The mission: concentrate on emerging technologies, playing a leading role in finding and developing new ways for audiences to find and use content. FM&T, as it will be known, will host centralized technology resources — including all BBC technologists, and controllers from the division will be placed in the the three main content areas: Journalism, BBC Vision and Music. Highfield will manage all new media platforms and gateways, emerging technology like the i-player and Web 2.0; metadata, search, navigation, BBC Information & Archives.
— The Journalism group led by Deputy Director-General Mark Byford, adds BBC Sport to BBC News, Global News and Nations & Regions.
Jenny Abramsky will lead the new Audio & Music group, responsible for audio content across all platforms and for music stategy accross the BBC.
Jana Bennett will lead the new BBC Vision group, which includes BBC Television, factual & Learning, and Drama, Entertainment & Children’s. The group will handle in-house multi-media production, commissioning and audio visual services, including the TV channel portfolio, and digital services (HD and Interactive).
— Creative Director Alan Yentoub will be responsible for implementing the Creative Future recommendations.
More from Mark Thompson: During his staff address,he stressed that the announcement is “not about further large-scale redundancies or efficiencies.” (Anyone looking for full details should read his presentation.)
— Re FM&T: “It’s ‘Future’ because we believe that it should focus on what comes next in terms of technology and services, building on the insights and successes Ashley Highfield and his team have already given us. Much of what we call ‘new media’ is really present media and it belongs in the main content divisions alongside linear TV and radio.”

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