BBC Online Reorg: Kumar, Newman Out, Huggers’ Memo

BBC Future Media & Technology (FM&T) director Erik Huggers is reorganising his division to deliver the smaller operation promised in the corporation’s Putting Quality First strategy document.

Huggers says decisions about which kinds of content the BBC should concentrate on over the next three years will be worked out in “the next few weeks”. Seetha Kumar, the BBC Online controller Huggers hired in 2008 to kerb’s overspending, will be leaving after the reorg.

A new director of Digital Media is being created following Anthony Rose’s departure to Project Canvas, responsible for BBC Online, BBC iPlayer, BBC Mobile and BBC Red Button; largely, technology development. The director will have four general managers. Veteran BBC News online exec Nic Newman is also leaving after 20 years with Auntie.

Huggers’ email to staff follows…

Dear All, 
For the last sixteen years we have been investing in BBC Online as our single global destination on the Internet. The service has gone through incredible growth and we are about to start a new and exciting chapter. The strategy review Putting Quality First proposes significant changes. First and foremost, everything we do on the Internet must fit our five editorial priorities:

  • The best journalism in the world
  • Inspiring knowledge, music and culture
  • Ambitious UK drama and comedy
  • Outstanding children’s content
  • Events that bring communities and the nation together

Furthermore, we propose setting clearer boundaries by reducing the number of top level directories from 400 to 200 by 2013. We also believe that we can do more with less and our intention is that by 2013, we should be spending 25% less against the BBC Online Service Licence budget. I believe that these proposals will help us to re