Everyone TV hires Huggers as chairman | Broadcast | News | Rapid TV News
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Barely a week after Digital UK - the parent company of DTT service Freeview and sister free satellite twin Freesat – announced that it was to operate under the name of Everyone TV, the new free TV platform operator has appointed TV industry stalwart Erik Huggers as its new chairman.
Everyone TV logo 26Jan2023
Everyone TV is a joint venture owned and supported by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 and its rebranding is said to be part of a plan to ensure everyone in the can enjoy high quality TV across satellite, terrestrial and internet delivery and better reflect the company’s mission to champion free TV for all. The name change is also said to reflect a revised mandate for the organisation: to lead the evolution of free, universal, high-quality television, in a way that protects and strengthens the social glue provided by Britain’s broadcasting heritage. Freevew and Freesat together offer 100% coverage of the nation and serve 18 million British homes.

Huggers boasts a wealth of international leadership experience gained across a variety of media and tech businesses. He currently holds several Board and advisory roles for European companies including ProSiebenSat.1, Hexagon, WeTransfer and streaming technology provider MainStreaming, as well as being chairman of Freepik Company.

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 where he led the launch of BBC iPlayer. He subsequently went on to hold senior roles at Intel, Verizon and Vevo, serving as CEO for three years at the latter.
As chairman of Everyone TV, Huggers will provide leadership and direction to the organisation's board of directors - drawn from its members the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 - as well as the senior management team. He succeeds Caroline Thomson, the media executive, who is stepping down after more than 10 years in the role.

Commenting on the appointment, 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 [Everyone TV CEO Jonathan Thompson] and his senior leadership team to help shape the next phase of free TV in the UK."

Thompson added: "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'm really looking forward to working with him. I'd also like to thank Caroline 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."