New BBC Chief Reveals His Vision: Online Is The Future

Auntie Beeb may have lost her outgoing Director-General to the Gray Lady, but his replacement is hitting the ground–and the Web–running.

New BBC Chief Reveals His Vision: Online Is The Future

George Entwhistle, the new director-general of the BBC, addressed staff this morning for the first time in his new capacity as capo di tuti capi of the organization. And, in an about turn from his predecessor’s policy, “genuinely digital content” is the key.

Entwhistle, a BBC man virtually all his working life, is the first head of the Corporation without a background in original programming–and perhaps it shows. The Beeb’s digital division has, over the past decade, suffered cuts of around a quarter of its budget, with the money being redirected to video.

Since the BBC launched its iPlayer, almost five years ago, the online catch-up service has been genuinely revolutionary, accepting, unlike many broadcasters, that its viewers would seek to watch its shows on other devices besides the TV. It is, however, conceivable that, with this strategy to the fore, original programming may be on the wane. The Corporation has been subject to some fairly drastic cuts as part of the British Government’s austerity measures.

About the author

My writing career has taken me all round the houses over the past decade and a half--from grumpy teens and hungover rock bands in the U.K., where I was born, via celebrity interviews, health, tech and fashion in Madrid and Paris, before returning to London, where I now live. For the past five years I've been writing about technology and innovation for U.S.



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