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BBC Worldwide is making a small executive reorganisation of its digital functions to consolidate the operations of its two-year-old, 30-strong digital delivery team with those of its BBC Magazines unit. The digital delivery team was founded in 2007 to lead new online product launches for BBCWW brands. The new move sees two digital directors now becoming “digital publishers”, each focused on web brands that, at least for now, mostly serve UK audiences…
— Alex White (pictured), the Association of Online Publishers director who came aboard as the team’s first “launch director” at the time, will cover RadioTimes.com, BBCGoodFood.com and GardenersWorld.com.
— Paul Owen, digital operations director, will manage the popular TopGear.com in the UK.
Digital director Claude London, who had coordinated Kangaroo for BBCWW, oversees the operation. But the LonelyPlanet.com site, run from Melbourne, will be operated by BBCWW’s Global Brands unit and TopGear.com international roll-outs are being coordinated from America.
A BBCWW spokesperson told paidContent:UK the disappearing “launch director” role does not point to fewer launches; together with Global Brands, the digital unit will continue to identify opportunities for future roll-outs, she said: “We moved the operations in to the digital media division to enable us to share resources across the division and to expand our expertise.”
The move means a UK focus for some BBC brands at a time when BBCWW’s overseas activities are due to be more contained by the BBC Trust. But the spokesperson stressed the websites overseen by the new pair of publishers, whilst currently UK-centric, hadn’t ruled out international expansion, and nothing has changed in this regard.
Top Gear has become a highly successful worldwide brand. BBCWW’s online income has risen substantially over the last two years on syndication and sell-through via YouTube, iTunes and other destinations.