Advanced Television

Thomson to chair Digital UK, won’t be BBC DG

November 15, 2012

Caroline Thomson, the BBC’s former Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed the new chair of Digital UK. Thomson, who represented the BBC on the Digital UK board from 2006-2012, will take up the post on January 1st 2013. She will succeed Barry Cox who is retiring after seven years in the post.

January 2013 will also see Digital UK merge with DMOL, the company which runs the Freeview on-screen TV guide. The combined company will operate under the name Digital UK.

It will provide day-to-day technical management of the Freeview Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), manage the launch of new channels onto the platform and allocate channel numbers. Digital UK will also continue its work on behalf of the UK overnment, co-ordinating changes to TV signals ahead of the roll-out of 4G mobile broadband services next year.

Thomson said she was “not a candidate” to be the new BBC Director General, because she was “wanting to get on with my other career”. In any event, although she was shortlisted last summer, and the BBC Trust chairman, Lord Patten, said he wanted to appoint a new director general “within weeks”, she has had no contact with the body that makes the appointment.

In an online poll Guardian readers placed her first among a field of 15 potential candidates, with 18 per cent support, comfortably ahead of Ed Richards, the Ofcom chief executive.

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