Keelan to oversee BBC Worldwide channels

Senior exec was expected to join BSkyB


The BBC has persuaded one of its senior executives not to jump to pay TV rival BSkyB by offering him a newly created job at BBC Worldwide.

Before Christmas it was announced that Liam Keelan, the Beeb’s head of daytime, would join BSkyB as director of flagship web Sky One, but on Monday it emerged that he will become global editorial director at BBC Worldwide.

In his new role, Keelan will oversee the editorial direction of all of BBC Worldwide’s global channels and brands, including BBC Knowledge, BBC Entertainment, CBeebies and BBC Lifestyle.

His responsibilities also involve developing creative partnerships with the BBC and independent shingles, building new brands and international franchises.

Keelan said: “This is a job I’ve always wanted to do. The opportunity to take part in extending the BBC brand — with its suite of channels across the globe — is too exciting to pass up.”

Keelan will report to Helen Jackson, managing director of Worldwide’s content and production business.

She said: “For our success to continue it will increasingly require us to create, co-produce and commission content. Liam brings with him huge experience and the results he produced in ratings for BBC1 speak for themselves.”

Keelan’s appointment is the latest in a string of changes at the BBC’s commercial arm since John Smith ankled as CEO late last year.