BBC hands archive content role to BBC Two's Keating

LONDON - BBC Two controller Roly Keating is moving to become the BBC's first director of archive content, putting him in charge of how the corporation exploits its present and past programming in the digital age.

Keating, who has been in his current role for four years, will move to the role in October and the BBC will start its search for a new BBC Two controller in the autumn.

The director of archive content role has been created to "maximise public access" to the archive of television, radio and multimedia content, much of which needs to be digitised.

This gives Keating a key say in the commercial exploitation of BBC content on platforms such as UKTV, its joint venture with Virgin Media Television. Also affected will be Kangaroo, the proposed commercial video-on-demand service backed by BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4.

Keating will have editorial responsibility for the release and management of current material to the corporation's free and hugely successful seven-day catch-up service iPlayer.

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

"Roly is passionate about the potential of the archive and, with his fantastic track record as a programme maker and channel controller, he is ideally place to lead this exciting project."

Keating will report to Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, and will work with two other key executives:

Keating will set the editorial and strategic priorities for archive digitisation and public access to programme information with Erik Huggers, the new director of future media and technology. He will also share decisions about which platforms BBC Vision content will be earmarked for with Simon Nelson, controller of portfolio and multiplatform.

However, for other BBC divisions outside Vision, he will agree the overall editorial strategy for archive release.

The BBC said it will make further senior appointments to support Keating in the near future.

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