Former Fox Chair Gary Newman & UK TV Vet Claire Hungate Join BBC Commercial Board

Former Fox Television Chair and CEO Gary Newman has joined the BBC Commercial Board along with UK TV vet Claire Hungate, while Damon Buffini has been upped to Deputy Chair of the BBC Board.

Newman and Hungate are two of a trio of appointments that also include Ian Griffiths, the former deputy CEO of market intelligence agency Kantar.

They will sit on the BBC’s board that oversees commercial activities including producer-distributor BBC Studios and post-production outfit BBC Studioworks.

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Newman is a huge appointment for the BBC and represents another foray into the commercial world by Director General Tim Davie, who has been steadily bringing in more execs from the private sector since he took over two years ago. Newman was Chairman & CEO of Fox Television Group, which included Fox Broadcasting Co. and Twentieth Century Fox Television, until its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company, overseeing development and production of such shows as 24, Glee, Modern Family, Homeland, 911 and The Masked Singer.

Hungate is a UK TV vet who has been CEO of Warner Bros TV Production UK, COO of Shed Media and MD of Who Do You Think you Are? producer Wall to Wall. She is currently President of esports organization Team Liquid.

Steve Morrison and Dame Elan Closs Stephens are being replaced, with their terms set to expire in 2023.

Investment guru Buffini came in last year to chair the Commercial Board and today becomes Deputy Chair of the BBC Board, second to Chair Richard Sharp.

The move comes at a time when Davie is placing more stress on BBC Studios to deliver greater returns, with the license fee frozen for the next two years. Davie used a set piece speech earlier this week to state the BBC needs greater investment if it is going to move into an internet-only world in the next decade.

“The BBC’s commercial subsidiaries, already successful, have been tasked with a further step-change in performance,” said Buffini. “The appointment of three new Non-Executives, with spectacular industry experience, reinforces the Commercial Board’s commitment to support and challenge the executive in achieving these stretching goals.”

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