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BBC.co.uk Appoints Controller, Ageh Moved in Response To Overspend

imageThe BBC is moving BBC HD head Seetha Kumar to the new role of BBC.co.uk controller – a second back-up job for future media and technology (FM&T) director Erik Huggers and a second appointment in a week designed to strengthen management control following the site’s £36 million 2007/08 overspend.

Kumar, who has already taken the job, will lead overall strategic and editorial development for the web elements of BBC output, a sprawling site with about 19 million combined monthly users. She will work with Kerstin Mogull, who was moved from deputy policy and strategy direct to be FM&T’s inaugural COO this week, to ensure BBC.co.uk meets BBC Trust expectations – both moves designed placate the regulator, which lambasted “ineffective” managerial control for the site’s £110 million expenditure last year…

When the BBC trailed this announcement in July, I speculated on what it could mean for Tony Ageh, a UK web veteran who laid the groundwork for Guardian Unlimited, Wired UK, Virgin.net and UpMyStreet in the mid-90s and who is now BBC internet controller. Today, the BBC said Ageh “is moving to another senior role within the BBC which will be announced shortly”. If Ageh is vacating his role, it’s unclear exactly how Kumar’s position will differ; cynics would call this a classic piece of BBC musical chairs, but there’s logic in the moves…

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