MEDIA: Highfield takes BBC Online role

The BBC has appointed Ashley Highfield as director of its new media division with responsibility for pushing forward the BBC’s on-line activities.

The BBC has appointed Ashley Highfield as director of its new media

division with responsibility for pushing forward the BBC’s on-line

activities.



Highfield, 34, is currently managing director of Flextech Interactive,

the new media content division of cable operator Telewest.



The BBC’s new media division was created as part of the complete

re-organisation of the corporation under the new director-general Greg

Dyke this April.



Running it will give Highfield a position on the corporation’s top

executive committee.



A spokesperson said the area was one in which Dyke was putting

particular emphasis. BBC Online alone involves half a million pages of

content and has a budget of pounds 40 million a year.



The spokesperson added: ’Highfield is one of the leaders in the field of

new media and had considerable success at Flextech. The challenge for

him is to keep ahead of things in this fast moving area and to

capitalise on the huge success so far of BBC Online.’



As divisional director, Highfield has responsibility for four areas -

the origination of new ideas for BBC Online (editorial management then

passes to the relevant specialist area), interactive services,

Imagineering (an area with responsibility for creating content for new

platforms such as WAP) and navigational tools.



Current director of BBC Online, Nigel Chapman, has been promoted to the

position of deputy director of BBC World Service where he succeeds

Caroline Thomson, who was recently appointed the BBC’s public policy

director.



The BBC has also appointed Anne Morrison, head of features and events in

the factual and learning division, as controller of leisure and factual

entertainment.



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