An announcement that the BBC is to set up a new digital innovation unit was made as industry leaders met at Hotel La Tour last night ahead of today’s #ReThink Media conference.
James Purnell, directory, strategy and digital at the BBC, said a new “Guerilla Group” would be based at Fazeley Studios and would have creative freedom to produce experimental new forms of content for programmes and services, using future technology.
He was speaking at a pre-conference dinner ahead of today’s event at Birmingham City University where medial professionals will be finding out what’s hot in digital this year. VIP guests included Andy Street, Managing Director of John Lewis and chair of Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, MP for Birmingham Edgbaston Gisela Stuart, MEP for the West Midlands Malcolm Harbour, and Leader of Birmingham City Council Sir Albert Bore.
Keynote speakers include BuzzFeed Vice-President Jonathan Perelman and BBC Radio 1 Controller Ben Cooper. The event is chaired by Birmingham Post Editor Stacey Barnfield, who also attended last night’s dinner at the hotel along with Trinity Mirror Publishing Director Marc Reeves.
The annual conference is held at Birmingham City University’s Parkside building and is a one-day festival of talks, activities and big debates on the state of the UK’s media industries. Rethink Media looks at the new role of compelling stories, engaged audiences, the power of networks and platforms to change how we develop and engage to define the game changes for the new generation.