Head of BBC Sport Interactive and Formula 1

Head of BBC Sport Interactive and Formula 1


I’m Ben Gallop. I’m Head of Interactive and
Formula One for BBC Sport. I run the New Media
operation for BBC Sport. So that’s setting the strategy
and managing the teams who work on the Internet, on
the Red Button, IPTV, and the mobile services, and
I also have responsibility for Formula One across
all our platforms. I’ve been at the
BBC for 12 years, and before that I
worked in journalism. I worked at Sky, and
I worked in newspapers and the Press Association. And I think, as my BBC
career has progressed, I’m now in a position
where I manage a team of journalists and producers. My job is to make sure
that they produce the best content possible. Much of my day is
spent in meetings. I’m thinking about budgets and
strategy, and really thinking about a lot of the
future-facing parts of the job, about how we take BBC
Sport to the next level. My advice to anyone who wants to
get on in sports journalism is, really, to know your subject,
to really be as dedicated as you can possibly be,
to spot the opportunities, and really think about how you
can be as creative as possible with whatever resources
you have. I think, at the moment, the
really important thing is to understand where technology
is going, and particularly where our audiences are going, because there are times I
think they’re going faster than the BBC are, and faster
than any media organization. It’s really important
that anybody trying to get on in this field
understands that, can spot the opportunities, and can really take
advantage of them. Formula One is a great
example there, I think. This is a sport that’s
always performed very well on television, and
continues to bring in multi-million
audiences for the big races. But what’s great is thinking
about how you can do more on the digital platforms. So the website suddenly
gives you a whole range of opportunities and
the chance for people to do what we would call
second-screen viewing, where they’re watching
it on television, but they’re also following
applications on laptops and on mobile phones and feeling
a connection with the race that otherwise they
wouldn’t have had. I look for people who
are creative and, really, are really willing to work, to get stuck in, to
have fun as well. I think it’s really
important to do that. This is ultimately
something that people love, and it’s really important
that whoever comes and works here gets a buzz
out of it and wants to think about how they can
take things forward. It’s always got to be about
looking ahead and thinking about improving things
for the audience.

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