The BBC has hired Jason Phipps, the Guardian’s Head of Audio, as its first Commissioning Editor of Podcasts.
Phipps will lead the BBC’s podcast strategy and oversee its portfolio of podcasts. He has been in charge of audio at The Guardian since 2014, looking after podcasts produced by the publisher in London, the US and Australia.
Prior to joining The Guardian he worked for the BBC as a radio producer for eight years. Ben Chapman, Head of Digital for Radio at the BBC, said: “I’m delighted Jason will be joining us in this important new role as his expertise in the podcast sector is unquestionable.
“Across BBC Radio we’re investing and experimenting in what we’re doing digitally to reinvent our brilliant audio for those less likely to listen on air and making sure younger listeners can enjoy quality, distinctive BBC content when and how they want to.”
Phipps added: “It’s an incredible time to re-join the BBC and be part of a podcasting revolution well underway. For podcasters and everyone in the audio community there is a sense that we are at the foothills of an incredible period of innovation and reinvigoration of radio.
“My role will I hope be an opportunity for a new generation of native podcasters and deliver great content to hungry ears across the UK.”
Meanwhile, Matt Hill, director of Rethink Audio and co-founder of the British Podcast Awards, questioned whether the BBC’s investment in podcasts was squeezing out the commercial sector.
“It’s about shopfronts like the Apple podcast store: there’s only limited space to discover new podcasts,” he said.
“If BBC original content is being promoted in that space, that does push out the small space that independent podcasts and networks have to promote their stuff.”