The UK’s BBC has named a new controller of its HD channel briefed with attracting more viewers and increasing content

Danielle Nagler has been named as the new head of BBC HD replacing Seetha Kumar who is moving to a new senior role within the corporation.

Kumar, who has led the channel since its trial stages, will move to another, as yet to be announced, “senior role” in the corporation.

A BBC statement said Nagler’s priorities are to “focus on growing the channel by driving consumer take-up, working with in-house and independent producers to increase HD programming, and leading preparations for BBC HD’s launch on Freeview”.

Speaking after her appointment was announced, Nagler said it was a “critical time” for the channel and the technology – and for people making programmes.
She said it was up to the BBC to help both audiences and the wider industry make the transition to HD.

“At the moment there are 10m HD-ready sets in the UK but only a minority are actually used for HD viewing.
“It’s clear there’s lots of work to do to open up the enormous viewing potential HD can offer for audiences.
“BBC HD tries to offer viewers the best of the BBC’s HD programmes, so I’ve got the fantastic job of cherry-picking from all the BBC channels to create the best possible showcase for HD content.”

Although far from the finished product, the BBC HD channel, the UK’s first free-to-air HD channel, continues to build both audience and approval ratings.
It will also take a place on the digital terrestrial network from the autumn of 2009; DVB-T2 tests have already commenced by the BBC in Guildford.

Nagler, who most recently worked as head of the director general’s office, joined the BBC in 1996 as a journalism trainee.

She will report to Simon Nelson, controller of multiplatform and portfolio, who said: “HD is a central part of our broadcasting future with huge potential to grow on cable, satellite and in the future on Freeview.
“I’m confident that in Danielle’s hands, the channel will make the transition to become a mainstream choice for our audiences.”

Nagler will take up her position on July 21.

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