Keating set to open up BBC archive

Exec also joining BBC Direction Group

LONDON — BBC2 director Roly Keating has been given a major new role in developing the pubcaster’s ambitious on-demand strategy.

Keating, who is the Beeb’s longest-serving channel controller, has been appointed its first director of archive content, responsible for opening up the pubcaster’s vast archive to the public via the Internet and other platforms. 

Starting in October, Keating will also join the team of top brass known as the BBC Direction Group.

Reporting to Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, the exec will take the lead across all the BBC’s divisions in developing and implementing its strategy to grow archive access, working across public service and commercial platforms, and with external partners.

He will work with Erik Huggers, the BBC’s new director of future media and technology.

For BBC Vision, Keating will also have editorial responsibility for the release and management of catch-up and archive content on all platforms, including the hugely successful BBC iPlayer, and the jointly owned UKTV channels, which he helped to launch in 1997.

“The BBC has the largest audio-visual archive in the world,” said BBC director general Mark Thompson. “We want to make sure there is greater public access to this archive, whilst also ensuring it is fully exploited for the benefit of license payers.”

Added Keating: “This is an exciting and daunting challenge, but there’s a really simple idea at its heart: giving people the chance to enjoy and engage with great programs and content, whenever and wherever they were first broadcast.”

Front-runners for the BBC2 director job, which will be advertised later in the fall, include Janice Hadlow, controller of digital web BBC4, and “Newsnight” editor Peter Barron.

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