image for Wildscreen appoints former BBC Worldwide director to be new Chair of Board

Wildscreen appoints former BBC Worldwide director to be new Chair of Board

Published on Friday, 22nd April 2016

Former BBC Worldwide Director Peter Phippen is to be the new chairman of the Bristol- based charity behind Wildscreen, the world’s biggest festival of natural history film, television and photography, and Arkive, the internet’s best-used online encyclopaedia of endangered species.

He brings with him 30 years of media industry experience, including as a Board Director of BBC Worldwide Ltd, Managing Director of BBC Magazines and President/CEO of BBC Worldwide Americas Inc, for whom he launched a number of TV channels and chaired a joint venture with Discovery Inc.

Peter succeeds TV industry veteran Dick Emery who is stepping down after nearly nine years in post.

Commenting on his appointment, Peter Phippen said: “I’m immensely proud to take over the Chair at Wildscreen, given its fantastic heritage and its vital mission - even more important today than when it was founded 30 years ago. I’ve had a long career in all areas of the media, but my most cherished moments have been those I’ve spent in the company of the talented people who provide us with insights into the natural world and those who work to protect it.”

He joins the charity as it prepares to host its first insiders’ guide to becoming a wildlife filmmaker event in Scotland on May 12 and deliver the internationally-renowned Wildscreen Festival, taking place in Bristol, UK, from October 10 to 14 and featuring the latest competition for the Wildscreen Panda Awards - widely acknowledged as one of the highest accolades wildlife film or TV storytellers can win.

Wildscreen’s CEO Lucie Muir says: “We feel very fortunate that Peter is joining us at such an exciting and important time in Wildscreen’s evolution. His long, respected and diverse experience of working in different media will be invaluable as we roll out a new strategy – including developing our outreach programme; delivering a scintillating Wildscreen Festival including a day dedicated to photography; exploring how we can enhance the global impact and reach of the Arkive website (now exceeding 1.1 million hits a month) and changing the face of conservation communications via our newest initiative, Wildscreen Exchange.”

Peter Phippen is currently a Director of Immediate Media, the magazine and digital company with offices in Bristol, London and Manchester which includes BBC Wildlife, Focus and Lonely Planet among its 50 titles.

He is also the Chairman of Texere Publishing, a cross-media publisher for the science and medical markets, of Bell Educational Services, one of the largest British-owned providers of English language and academic programmes; sits on the Board of The National Archives and is the founder of East West Relations Ltd, a media company building links between the media in the West and in India where he was born.

In addition, he is a former Chairman of the Professional Publishers Association and a Treasurer of FIPP (the global magazine body). In 2011 he received the Marcus Morris Award, the highest accolade in magazine publishing.