Industry Moves UK: BBC Raids BSkyB, Virgin Radio, Microsoft For Future Media

Ashley Highfield’s Future Media & Technology unit at the BBC has made a trio of appointments to its leadership team (via Broadcast magazine).

Paul Dale, BSkyB’s director of networked media technology for the last year, leaves to become controller. He had previously helped Sky One, Sky News, Sky Movies, Sky Travel, Sky Games and Sky Media get carriage on new devices and platforms, and has been instrumental in developing British interactive TV and pretty much every step along the way in various head-of-development positions at British Interactive Broadcasting, Open and, for the last five years, at BSkyB. According to his own profile, at the BBC, he will have: “A dual reporting board role, sitting on the board of both “Future Media and Technology”and “Vision” (Channels). Responsible for the design, creation and delivery of new media content across all digital platforms for all BBC Vision channels.”

Erik Huggers, a senior director for Microsoft’s entertainment business, becomes controller in charge of overseeing program strategy. He had previously been responsible for strategy on “MSTV, eHome, Zune and more” and had previously been a senior director for the Windows client division. Huggers also has done a lot to get Windows Media adopted by European broadcasters.

James Cridland, leaves as Virgin Radio’s director of digital media to head up the audio and music team. Cridland had spent the last six years with Virgin, which was the first radio station in Europe to broadcast online, and has led a drive to output on as many digital platforms, including video game platforms and OGG Vorbis. Cridland previously worked for Metro Radio Group and Emap Radio as a copywriter, presenter and internet adviser, and launched Media UK before joining Virgin in 2001.

The Future Media & Technology division has seen a rash of appointments since its creation in November as part of a restructure to take multimedia commissioning directly to content producers and to pursue multi-platform distribution. Release.