Admittedly, asking who should be the next director of future media and technology for the BBC in an online poll was a slightly flippant move. However, the results are kind’ve interesting – even though they probably say more about the TechCrunch audience than anything else. So the winner is Ian Forrester of BBC Backstage who has a sizable Geek following (perhaps accounting for his online-oriented stardom). Next was another popular and Geek-ish chap, James Cridland, head of future media & technology, BBC audio/music interactive. But heading up the more tangible runners and riders was Tony Ageh, BBC New Media controller of internet, and a long-time popular choice amongst the UK’s online community. It’s also pretty cool that a woman was high up the list, Jo Twist, BBC Three Multiplatform Channel Editor, ahead of who many think is the ex-Microsoft “shoe-in”, Erik Huggers, BBC Future Media and Technology Group Controller and deputy to the outgoing Ashley Highfield. Why is he a shoe-in? Here’s what my high-up source at the Beeb says:
It would amazing if he (Huggers) is not announced. He’d basically leave if he didn’t get it. It was one of the bits of bait when he joined. And as a I say, he is convenient for 2-3 years while it’s about getting product out the door and not budgets and politics. it’s taken Ashley 8 years with internal politics to win budgets and full acceptance of what the division does and its importance. The hard bit is done for the next few years, all budgets are kind of settled for the long term now.
Meanwhile, let’s hope the BBC takes even a little notice of this debate and listens.