BBC taps Flynn

Exec to oversee facilities and technology

LONDON — The BBC has signaled its determination to strengthen its commercial operations by appointing outsider Roger Flynn to head up its facilities and technology divisions.

As the pubcaster’s business director, the 38 year-old Flynn will be responsible for the business-to-business operations of BBC Resources and BBC Technology. He will also have a seat on the BBC’s ruling executive committee and report directly to director general Greg Dyke.

Flynn – who has previously worked at Virgin, British Airways and Prudential Retail – will start his new job June 1.

High on the agenda is spearheading BBC Technology’s efforts to generate commercial revenue and cut costs across the BBC’s tech activities. Customers already include satcaster BSkyB and pan-Euro broadcaster UPC.

BBC Resources has operated as a quasi-commercial subsid for the past two years and is expected to have annual turnover of £160 million ($ 229 million) this year.

The British government has told Dyke that he must raise roughly $1.6 billion by 2006 through savings, efficiencies and increased sales, and Flynn – alongside Rupert Gavin, chief exec of commercial division BBC Worldwide – will play a key role.

The BBC said BBC Worldwide is unaffected by Flynn’s appointment.

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