Monday, February 8, 2016

Sending Tone down the line

In what I expect to be a long conga-line of people leaving the BBC before the end of the financial year, we learn that Tony Ageh, Controller of TV Archive Development, is on his way, and his department moves from the comfy corners of Television to the open spaces of Matthew Postgate's rebranded Engineering Division.

Auntie loses out on an ideas man, who's nurtured some Very Big Things, and, as you might expect when you learn his full name is Anthony Olusola Ademola Ageh, one of a dwindling number of diverse senior managers. He came to Auntie via the creation of The Guide at The Guardian, when a friend applied on his behalf for a job as Head of Search and Listings, in 2002.

iPlayer might well have been called Threevo. Tony, who'd moved to the grand title, Controller Internet, came across Ben Lavender, working on the BBC3 website in 2003; in the early days of programme-downloading from dodgy websites, he'd come up with the idea of a legit internet-based Personal Video Recorder to give on-demand access alongside the fledging broadcast network. After relentless internal lobbying, they were eventually given funding to deliver a proof-of-concept Integrated Media Player (catching up a little with the BBC Radioplayer, launched in 2002), which morphed into the iPlayer in 2007.

Other good stuff that has come from projects close to Tony; the excellent BBC Genome, listing over 4 million programmes, and a concept yet to take off, of a Digital Public Space.

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