BBC Australasia's David Vine resigns

Established BBC's presence in Oz, N.Z. for 18 years

SYDNEY -- David Vine, managing director of BBC Worldwide Australasia, has resigned after 18 years guiding the growth of the commercial arm of the British broadcast giant in Australia and New Zealand, he said Wednesday.

Beginning as a sales arm for BBC programs, BBC Worldwide Australasia now has a significant foothold in the Australian media market and has shown major growth in the last two years.

It has interests across multiple business lines including TV program licensing, the operation of four pay TV channels (with two more set to launch in November), magazine and book publishing, home entertainment distribution and TV production, with a 25% stake in local production outfit the Freehand Group.

Vine said that, with BBC Worldwide's solid presence in Australia, "it feels like the right time to move on."

"BBC Worldwide in Australaisa is in rude health; each of Worldwide's business units now has a foothold in the territory and works closely with the U.K. teams. It has been a privilege to work with such a talented team in Sydney over the past 18 years," Vine said.

After Vine's departure, an interim management structure will see sales and distribution director Julie Dowding and finance and administration chief Cathy Service take on acting general manager roles.