The BBC has hired Amazon exec Richard Knight to head up its newly expanded commercial audio unit.
Earlier this year the broadcaster unveiled plans to move selected factual, entertainment and drama audio content from its Licence Fee funded production team to its commercial arm, BBC Studios.
This includes long-term hits Desert Island Discs, Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, and Just A Minute, plus newer content such as The Planet Earth Podcast and The Strictly Come Dancing Podcast which sit alongside their TV counterparts.
The transfer, which will complete next April, will support BBC Studios’ mission to generate commercial revenue in support of the BBC’s core UK operations.
The new Audio Productions unit will be led by Knight, who has been announced as Director of Audio for BBC Studios Productions. He was previously head of Amazon’s Wondery content team in the UK and prior to that held positions within the BBC.
Knight said: “I have loved getting to know the truly amazing and creative people at Wondery. But I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity by BBC Studios to lead so many talented producers into a new phase for public service audio. I’m confident we are going to do some great things – and have fun doing them.”
Ralph Lee, CEO of BBC Studios Productions said: “We are looking forward to building on our audio leadership and creative capabilities to grow the reach of British audio content in the UK and around the globe.
“Richard brings a rare combination of skills and experience. He is a talented producer, executive producer and leader, with a real depth of editorial experience and a long record of creative success. He will be a huge asset to the new Audio Productions team.”
Charlotte Moore, BBC Chief Content Officer, said: “Our plan ensures that our unique, rich audio offer to audiences will continue to thrive in the future, and we will reach wider audiences, open up more creative opportunities and bring back more investment into the BBC.
“BBC Studios has a proven track record in producing and distributing distinctive British content, and with the fast-growing global podcast market, it’s an exciting time to be working together to expand its audio business.”