Emma Scott – initially involved as project Launch Director at the BBC – has decided to stand down from her post as Managing Director of UK digital free-to-air platform Freesat.
Scott has overseen the growth of Freesat from its inception becoming MD in 2007.
Bal Samra, Chairman of Freesat, said: “Emma has been an outstanding Managing Director, translating an idea for a start-up into the established and successful business that Freesat is today. In doing so, she and the Freesat team have delivered a number of industry firsts for viewers in the free to air market, building on Britain’s heritage in broadcasting and technology. Her commitment and belief in the importance of ‘free’ TV has been unstinting. While Freesat’s shareholders and team will greatly miss Emma’s professionalism, drive and tenacity, we wish her every success in her future career.”
Scott said she was “immensely proud” of what had been achieved at Freesat since its inception . In 2007Fre. “esat now offers viewers who do not wish to pay a monthly subscription a state of the art connected television service. That means more than 200 TV and radio channels; a strong and growing HD portfolio; personal video recorder functionality; a full range of catch-up services (BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand 5); easy access to leading services such as YouTube, Curzon Cinema BBC News and BBC Sport; our Showcase TV recommendations service; the Freesat iOS and Android app and a ‘roll back’ TV guides,” she advised.
“Freesat has built this service, now used in almost two million homes, by embracing new ways of curating content and by harnessing technology that looks to the future. I am particularly proud of Showcase, the only editorially driven recommendations service on a UK TV platform, and of the Freetime connected TV service. Above all, I would like to thank the amazing team at Freesat, and Freesat’s shareholders the BBC and ITV, for the strong support they have given me, without which it would have been impossible to achieve so much in this exciting and highly competitive market.
Creating a successful new TV platform has been an exhilarating journey but it is now time for me to seek new challenges in the digital media industries,” she concluded.
Prior to her involvement in the Freesat project, Scott delivered key strategic initiatives for the Director General, Greg Dyke, including launching Freeview, leading the BBC’s first video on demand trial and the BBC North relocation project. She previously worked for Optus Communications in Australia and at the House of Commons.
Alistair Thom will become Managing Director of Freesat from the 1st January 2015. Thom is currently Freesat’s Finance Director and Company Secretary, and has been with the business since 2011. He previously worked at KPMG as a consultant; earlier in his career he spent five years at BSkyB. He will work with the Freesat Board as the shareholders look to build on Freesat’s success to date.
Thom said he was looking forward to taking on his new role and working with the Board of Freesat as it continued to develop the “valuable business”.