Industry Moves UK: BBC Loses iPlayer ‘Inventor’ To Lovefilm; Guardian Radio

The “inventor” of the BBC’s forthcoming iPlayer web TV catch-up application is leaving the corporation. Ben Lavender becomes group digital and product manager at European online DVD rental service Lovefilm. Lavender had directed the iPlayer project and is credited with developing the BBC’s on-demand strategy; he had previously been at places including Five and MTV. With the public beta due for unveiling this Friday, Lavender’s is the second departure in a month of senior BBC staff responsible for the iPlayer project. BBC’s Web 2.0 projects director Tom Loosemore quit last month for U.K. media regulator Ofcom; head of innovation Matt Locke left for Channel 4 in March. The project has been criticized for its dependence on Windows DRM and its four-year gestation period, and unattributed sources in this story lay blame for the delays at the door of the director of future media and technology. Lovefilm started ad-supported movie downloads in April.

Guardian: GMG Radio, a subsidiary of the U.K.’s Guardian Media Group, the group that owns The Guardian newspaper, has appointed Sarah Bellamy, UK commercial operations director for the European TV company Endemol, to the new role of digital media director. Based in Manchester, GMG runs 13 stations including Jazz FM and Real Radio. Bellamy will be responsible for driving interactive growth across the stations’ websites. (Via MediaGuardian).