BBC Names Damon Buffini Deputy Chair, Former Fox Executive Gary Newman to Join BBC Commercial Board

BBC Names Damon Buffini Deputy Chair, Former Fox Executive Gary Newman to Join BBC Commercial Board

Richard Sharp, chairman of the BBC, on Friday unveiled the appointment of Damon Buffini to the new role of deputy chair of the BBC board. 

“Sir Damon was a founding partner of international investment firm Permira, where he was managing partner from 1997 to 2010,” the U.K. public broadcaster said. “He has been chair of the Royal National Theatre since 2015 and has held multiple non-executive directorships across various industries.”

The broadcaster also appointed former Fox top executive Gary Newman, Ian Griffiths and Claire Hungate to the BBC Commercial Board as non-executive directors, effective April 1, for an initial term of three years.

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The BBC Commercial Board oversees the public broadcaster’s commercial activities, including BBC Studios and BBC Studioworks, which provides studio and post-production services to the British broadcast and production sector.

Buffini joined the BBC board as a non-executive director in November 2021 and was appointed chair of the BBC Commercial Board in March 2022. 

Said BBC chair Richard Sharp: “I am incredibly pleased that Sir Damon will take on the additional role of deputy chair of the BBC board, reflecting the integral part that the BBC’s commercial activity plays in the corporation’s overall success. As chair of the BBC Commercial Board, Sir Damon brings vast experience and expertise to the oversight of our commercial operations at a time when the BBC board is looking for significant and sustained commercial growth.”

Buffini in turn made the three new appointments to the BBC Commercial Board. The additions are: Gary Newman, who was chairman & CEO of Fox Television Group, which included Fox Broadcasting Co. and Twentieth Century Fox Television, until its acquisition by The Walt Disney Company. “During his tenure at Fox he oversaw development and production of such shows as 24, Glee, Modern Family, Homeland, 911 and The Masked Singer,” the BBC said. Ian Griffiths, who was deputy CEO and CFO of market intelligence agency Kantar from 2020 to 2022; between 2008 and 2019 he served as CFO and COO of ITV plc and was previously CFO of EMAP. Claire Hungate, who has held the roles of CEO of Warner Bros. TV Production UK, COO of Shed Media and managing director of Wall to Wall and now is president and COO of Team Liquid, “the world’s most viewed esports organization with a global audience reach of around 40 million.”

Said Buffini: “The BBC’s commercial subsidiaries, already successful, have been tasked with a further step-change in performance. The appointment of three new non-executives, with spectacular industry experience, reinforces the Commercial Board’s commitment to support and challenge the executive in achieving these stretching goals.”