Erik Huggers named as new Everyone TV chairman

Media and tech industry veteran Erik Huggers has been named as chairman of Everyone TV, the company that manages Freeview and Freesat in the UK. Huggers, whose career has taken him via the BBC and Intel, replaces Caroline Thomson.

Huggers was appointed by UK public service broadcasters the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, which are members of the consortium behind Everyone TV. As chairman, he will provide leadership and direction to the organisation’s Board of Directors, drawn from its four core members, as well as the senior management team.

Everyone TV CEO, Jonathan Thompson, said: “I’m delighted that the PSBs have appointed Erik as the new chairman of Everyone TV. He brings to the role a wealth of highly relevant UK and international experience and a deep understanding of the technology and media sectors. I’d also like to thank Caroline Thomson for her expert stewardship of the organisation over the last decade, we are incredibly grateful for the passion and dedication she has shown to the company and its people.”

Much of Huggers’ experience in technology was gained at Microsoft where he spent eight years as a senior director in both Europe and the US before joining the BBC in May 2007. There, he led the launch of BBC iPlayer as part of his responsibilities for the public service broadcaster’s direct-to-consumer services across web, mobile and TV platforms. Huggers subsequently went on to hold senior roles at Intel, Verizon and Vevo, serving as CEO for three years at the latter. At time of writing, he holds several Board and advisory roles for companies including ProSiebenSat.1, Hexagon, WeTransfer, and streaming technology provider MainStreaming.

Huggers said:The UK’s broadcasting sector, with public service broadcasting at its heart, is the envy of the world. I have long admired the principle of high quality content delivered free at the point of use for all. As the worlds of tech and entertainment increasingly converge, it’s imperative that the distribution of free TV adapts. I’m very much looking forward to working with the public service broadcasters as well as Jonathan and his leadership team to help shape the next phase of free TV in the UK.”

Chair of the appointments panel and group director of strategy, policy & regulation at ITV, Magnus Brooke, added: “As the PSBs seek to deepen our collaboration in the delivery of free TV services, we are delighted to have Erik on board to help us navigate a rapidly changing TV landscape so that free-to-view television remains compelling and accessible to all. We’d also like to offer our sincere thanks to Caroline for her very wise, effective and committed stewardship as chair over many years.”

Everyone TV is responsible for the day-to-day running of free TV platforms: Freeview and Freesat. It was originally set up to manage and deliver the digital switchover (DSO) from analogue TV signals to digital terrestrial television (DTT).

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