BBC's Alix Pryde leaves to join Vodafone

BBC Alix Pryde
The BBC has announced the imminent departure of its Director of Distribution, Alix Pryde, who is leaving to run Vodafone's consumer product department.

Alix was at the forefront of the team behind digital switchover, the London 2012 Red Button extravaganza, national DAB expansion, the launch of Freeview HD and most recently, the roll-out of all main BBC channels in HD.

Late last year, she appeared on the BBC's Points of View programme outlining the approach the BBC was taking ahead of launching further regional versions of BBC One in HD in the coming years.

Her blog posts made her the public face of BBC Distribution, keeping licence fee payers up-to-date with the roll-out of new digital TV and radio services, occasionally using the blog to answer questions from the public.

Ironically, Alix Pryde is joining a company that was against the award of licences for further Freeview channels, part of a BBC/C4/Arqiva plan to get more HD channels on Freeview. Last April, Vodafone made it clear that it wanted the so-called 600 MHz TV frequency band - now home to channels including BBC Four HD and BBC News HD in some parts of the UK - to be used to migrate existing Freeview channels, so that mobile network operators could take over the 700 MHz TV frequency band for their own services later this decade.

Had Ofcom sided with Vodafone, then there would have been no extra space available for Alix Pryde's team to launch all of the BBC's channels in HD on Freeview (as Freeview multiplex COM7 would not have been licensed).

According to BBC staff magazine Ariel, Garazi Goia, head of commercial management: infrastructure, will become acting director of distribution, while the future of the job role is reviewed.

Pryde's last day for the BBC will be 14th March 2014.

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